General Cleaning Questions

  • How often should I brush and floss?
A: Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

Tooth brushing: Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth. Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended.

Flossing: Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Take between 12 and 16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches of floss between the hands. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion. Curve the floss into a "C" shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing: It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it's a good idea to consult with Dr. Clyde on its appropriateness for you.
  • How often should I have a dental exam/cleaning?
A: You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though Dr. Clyde may recommend more frequent visits. Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.
  • Why is it important to use dental floss?
A: Unfortunately, our toothbrush can't reach areas between your teeth that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. The bacteria from plaque produces toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums. Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gum line, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar). This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone. This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

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