Oral Hygiene

Prevention starts at home

A regular oral hygiene routine is imperative if you want to maintain a healthy, bright smile and prevent recurrent, costly dental treatment in the future. The goal of your oral hygiene routine is the regular removal of the sticky film of bacteria called plaque from your teeth. Plaque is the enemy.

Brushing

We recommend the use of a small amount (half a thumbnail length) of fluoridated toothpaste on the toothbrush.

It is recommended by the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) that you brush twice a day for two minutes. Electric tooth brushes with an inbuilt two minutes timer are a very effective and easy way to ensure you follow this recommendation and we feel it will give you the best results.

Spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing, but don’t rinse. This will leave a film of toothpaste over the tooth surface that will, with the help of saliva, heal and prevent early decay.

Brushing twice daily is recommended. To achieve the best results brush in a circular fashion at a 45 degree angle to the gum line. Then gently brush back and forth on each tooth surface until you have effectively cleaned the entire mouth. You should also brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that causes bad breath.

Flossing

Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth that you can't reach with regular brushing. Take 30 to 40cms of dental floss and wrap it around the middle finger of each hand. Pull the floss tightly, and then use your thumb and forefingers to slide the floss gently between each set of teeth. Curve the floss around each tooth and move the floss up and down along the tooth, going as low as you can comfortably get under the gum line. Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth until you have flossed the entire mouth.

Mouthwashes

Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash can be helpful in reducing the plaque levels around the mouth, but it must be stressed that it is no substitute for brushing and flossing. If you use a mouthwash, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully as overuse with some products may cause staining of the teeth and discomfort.

Chewing Gum

Sugarfree chewing gum can be chewed anytime, but especially after meals, to stimulate saliva flow. This can help to neutralise the acids produced while eating and heal any early areas of decay within the enamel structure of the tooth.

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144 Cranford St St Albans, Christchurch 8014, New Zealand

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