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Washington DC Dentist, Joel Sendroff, DDS PC
Voted as a "Best Dentist" by the Washingtonian Magazine
5415 Connecticut Ave NW #A, Washington DC, 20015
(202) 244-4149

 
   
 

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Controlling bacterial plaque
By Dr. Joel Sendroff

Controlling the plaque that causes most dental disease is simple but not necessarily easy. Developing good oral habits is simple but it is changing lifestyle and that is not easy either. For most of us, achieving excellent oral health requires effective brushing and flossing, period. How simple is that?

To begin, we all use a toothbrush to remove bacteria from the teeth. Because we brush the tooth and gum we want to use a brush that is soft enough that it will not wear out the tooth or cause gum damage. Soft bristle brushes would be the texture to choose in all cases. (Unless you brush the chewing surface only with a stiffer one.) I think electric toothbrushes offer some benefit that manual brushes don? deliver. Electric brushes do a lot of the work which is good for those of us who are less coordinated or incapacitated. They also measure the time spent brushing so that if you are interested in providing yourself a 2 minute cleaning you can be sure of getting it done.

Forty percent of the exposed tooth is inaccessible to the toothbrush and must be cleaned using floss. The second most frequent area where decay attacks the tooth is at the contact area where teeth meet. (Most frequent?n the chewing surface pit and fissure defects) Because floss is difficult to manipulate, effective cleaning is difficult. There is a learning curve to floss manipulation and there is a tendency to drop it out. I sometimes suggest that people who have a problem getting started or keeping it up; choose a few teeth in one easily reached area to begin their regimen. If they practice flossing this little area for four to six weeks, the habit becomes established and expanding to additional teeth is easier to achieve.

For specific recommendations, I personally like the Sonicare electric toothbrush. My wife and hygienist use the Braun Oral B toothbrush. We all like Glide floss for its strength and slight wax like ability to get through tight contact areas. Glide also comes in a thicker width called Tape. For those who want a little assistance with floss, it comes mounted on a plastic handle and can be found in the dental section of the pharmacy.

Special cleaning devices are also available and can often be found in the dental section of the pharmacy. These include a rubber tip, proxabrush, floss threaders, and others that might be recommended by dental professionals. All of these items will assist in the removal of plaque on teeth, the source of most dental disease.

Additional dental articles by Dr. Sendroff:

How can I prevent dental disease?

What is the best diet for dental health?
 

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Copyright ? 2006 Joel Sendroff, DDS PC - Providing information on dental procedures including Whitening, Porcelain Veneers and Crowns in the Greater Washington, DC area.

Disclaimer: Dr. Joel Sendroff services patients in Washington, DC (District of Columbia), Chevy Chase, Maryland and Northern Virginia. This site only provides information about dental and cosmetic dental procedures including Whitening, Porcelain Veneers, Crowns, White Fillings, Bonding, Crowns and Veneers, and Dental Implants. It is not meant to be taken as advice.