Regular dental check ups are essential for maintaining excellent oral hygiene and diagnosing potential problems, but they are not a “fix-all” solution. Thorough oral hygiene procedures of brushing and flossing should be practiced on a daily basis to avoid future dental and periodontal problems.
Periodontal disease (also called gum disease and periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States, and is completely preventable in the vast majority of cases. Professional cleanings three to five times a year combined with daily self-cleaning can remove a high percentage of disease-causing Bacterial Plaque. In addition, teeth that are well cared for make for a sparkling white beautiful smile.
There are numerous types of oral hygiene aides and most of these will be provided by Drs. Dennis Nishimine, Dee Nishimine & Sophia Tseng. We feel that the oral hygiene aides that we will be providing for you are some of the best on the market. Some of these are on the supermarket shelves, and it can be difficult to determine which will provide the best benefit to your teeth.
Here are some of the most common oral hygiene aides for homecare:
There are a great many toothbrush types available. Drs. Dennis Nishimine, Dee Nishimine, & Sophia Tseng recommend the used of the Bultler Sub G tooth brush and end tuft brush that we will provide for you. Manual toothbrushes should be replaced every three months because worn bristles become ineffective over time. Soft bristle toothbrushes are far less damaging to gum tissue than the medium and hard bristle varieties. In addition, an appropriate sized ADA approved toothbrush should be chosen to allow proper cleaning to all the teeth. Teeth should ideally be brushed after each meal, or minimally four to five times each day.
Electric toothbrushes may be recommended if you are not successful with the manual brushes. We can easily show you how to be effective with the manual brushes. If you have and electric brush bring it to the office and we will show you how to use it more effectively.
is the most common interdental and subgingival (below the gum) cleaner and comes in a variety of types and flavors. Drs. Dennis Nishimine, Dee Nishimine, & Sophia Tseng recommmend the use of the POH dental floss.
This floss is made from thin nylon filaments and can help remove food particles and Bacterial Plaque from between the teeth. We want it to be "squeaky clean." Floss should normally be used twice daily after brushing.
Drs. Dennis Nishimine, Dee Nishimine, & Sophia Tseng recommend interdental brushes in addition to dental floss. These tiny brushes are gentle on the gums and very effective in cleaning the contours of teeth in between the teeth. Interdental brushes come in various shapes and sizes.
There are two basic types of mouth rinse available: Cosmetic rinses which are sold over the counter and temporarily suppress bad breath, and therapeutic rinses which may or may not require a prescription. We are skeptical about the benefits of cosmetic rinses because several studies have shown that their effectiveness against Bacterial Plaque is minimal. Therapeutic rinses however, are regulated by the FDA and contain active ingredients that can help reduce bad breath, plaque, and cavities. Mouth rinses should generally be used after brushing. We may prescribe chlorohexidine digluconate for you as a mouth rinse.
Oral irrigators, like Water Jets and Waterpiks have been created to clean food debris from below the gum line. Water is continuously sprayed from tiny jets into the gum pockets which can help remove harmful bacteria and food particles. Overall, oral irrigators have proven effective in lowering the risk of gum disease and should not be used instead of brushing and flossing. We do not encourage the use of these devices in most cases. Professional cleanings (SPT's )are recommended at least three to five times annually.
Rubber Tip Stimulators
The rubber tip stimulator is an excellent tool for removing Bacteial Plaque from around the gum line and also for stimulating blood flow to the gums. The rubber tip stimulator should be traced gently along the outer and inner gum line at least once each day. Any Bacterial Plaque on the tip can be rinsed off with tap water. It is important to replace the tip as soon as it starts to appear worn, and to store the stimulator in a cool, dry place.
Tongue cleaners are special devices which have been designed to remove the buildup of Bacteria Plaque, fungi and food debris from the tongue surface. The fungi and bacteria that colonize on the tongue have been related to halitosis (bad breath) and a great many systemic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and stroke. Tongue cleaners can be made from metal, wood or plastic and shaped in accordance with the contours of the tongue. Tongue cleaning should be done prior to brushing to prevent the ingestion of fungi and bacteria. This can also be easily done with your tooth brush. We would recommend that you brush the top of your tongue and roof of your mouth to prevent halitosis and remove the Bacterial Plaque.
If you have any questions about oral hygiene aides, please ask our Periodontal Implant Team. Contact us