|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
September 16, 2015
There are bacteria living inside the mouth and if it is left there it will form into plaque. Plaque in the mouth causes cavities and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal disease. To keep your mouth healthy, you must practice good oral hygiene every day.
Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing bacteria that has accumulated on the teeth. Plaque is found a lot of the time in areas that a toothbrush cannot reach. Foods that we eat cause bacteria in the mouth and this bacterium produces acids. While sugary foods are an obvious source of plaque there are many other foods that can cause harm, including starchy foods. Plaque also produces substances that irritate the gums, making them red, sensitive and vulnerable to bleeding. This irritation can lead to gum disease. Gum disease occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that can fill with bacteria and pus. If left untreated, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed and teeth may need to be removed.
The best way to get rid of this plaque is to brush and clean the teeth at least twice a day. Brushing the teeth helps to remove plaque from the surface of the tooth. It is best to use a soft-bristled brush that fits the size of your mouth. The brush should be able to reach all areas of the mouth so all the surfaces of the teeth can become clean. Toothpaste that contains fluoride helps protect the teeth from decay. Flossing also helps to remove plaque that is between the teeth. Flossing is an extremely important part in trying to prevent gum disease.
When brushing the teeth hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums and move the brush back and forth gently in short strokes. Make sure to brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces and the chewing surfaces. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth. Use gentle up and down strokes when brushing the front teeth. It is also a good idea to brush the tongue to help remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
When flossing the teeth, use a piece of floss about 18 inches in length and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers and guide the floss between the teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss hits the gum line, curve it into a C shape against the tooth and gently slide it into the space between the gum and tooth. Bring the floss back toward the contact point between the teeth and move the floss up or down the other side, conforming the floss to the shape of the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions. Repeat these steps for the rest of the teeth in your mouth.
Along with brushing and flossing the teeth, using a mouth rinse also helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Antimicrobial mouth rinses reduce bacteria and plaque activity, which cause gingivitis and gum disease. If you want to try a new dental product, talk it over with your dentist first. They will know what is best for you, because not everybody has the same mouth conditions. It is also advised to get dental cleanings at least twice a year to help keep your teeth clean and healthy.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr. Wishneff at[email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.