Oral care involves the complete cleaning of all soft tissues in the mouth, such as gums, tongue, cheek mucus, as well as teeth.
A soft or medium-hard toothbrush should be preferred. Using an extra hard toothbrush to remove stains may cause abrasion on the tooth surface. A toothbrush with a small head as should be preferred to be able to move smoothly even in the back areas of the mouth. A proper manual brushing gives better results than an automatic brush.
In a survey conducted in Turkey, it was found out that our tooth-brushing did not last 30 seconds on average. The ideal time is 2 minutes for oral care. If you keep track of time, you will actually see how long this 2-minute period is. Brushing for 2 minutes will become an habit in time.
For oral care, teeth should be brushed at least twice a day. One of these must be before you go to bed. Due to the decrease of saliva, bacteria are produced in mouth at most during sleeping time. The other brushing session should be after breakfast. Brushing teeth after lunch and dinner is useful, but it is not very practical in busy modern life.
First of all, tooth-brushing is not only brushing your teeth. It also has to involve the gums. The lower and upper jaws must be brushed separately. Do not apply too much pressure on your teeth while brushing. As brushing method, we recommend a combined method for our patients. That is:
a. Brush the upper jaw from top to bottom and the bottom jaw from bottom to top:
(Brush your teeth in front of the mirror, if possible. Do not wetten your brush and your mouth with water. Put a tiny piece of toothpaste on your toothbrush. Keep your mouth slightly open while brushing.) First, place the toothbrush on your gums with a 45 degrees of inclination and pull it down towards your teeth. Then do not pull the brush up, but instead place it again on the same area and brush from your gums toward your teeth. It is like sweeping. So you will always brush your teeth from the gum to the tooth (from red to white). By doing this, you will sweep the plaques that accumulate on your gums and teeth in your mouth. At the same time, you will be able to prevent gum recession as you pull the brush from the gum to the tooth. If you brush from the tooth to the gum, then you will push the plaques to the intersection point of tooth and gum where it will turn into tartar. It may also cause gum recession. This first stage of tooth-brushing is very important and it has to be applied to both outer and inner surfaces of the teeth.
b. As a second step, you need to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth back and forth.
c. In the third step, you should brush with round movements by massaging your gums together with your teeth.
d. Finally, you should brush the surface of your tongue from back to front. You should even try to brush inner walls of your cheeks and palate. Then rinse your mouth with water and finish brushing.
After brushing is finished, wash your toothbrush thoroughly under cold water and leave it to dry at an upright position. The next brushing should also be done with dry toothbrush. Be careful that your toothbrush does not contact with other people’s brushes. A variety of illnesses can be transmitted by this way. You should even change your own brush after a severe flu. Average lifespan for a toothbrush is approximately 3 months.
The contents of almost all toothpaste brands are similar. Brushing in correct frequency and with right technique is more important than the brand you use. In some cases of sensitivities, your dentist may tell you which brand or type of toothpaste you need to use. These are rare cases and you can safely use all brands known in the market according to your like.
They are specially produced brushes for cleaning the gap between two teeth. It consists of thin hairs wrapped around a thin wire. It is an effective method especially for cleaning around a slightly larger tooth spacing or prosthesis.
No matter how accurately and regularly you brush your teeth, it is not possible to completely clear the area between two neighboring teeth. One of the most practical ways to clean these areas is to use dental floss. Most of the decays that you do not notice easily until you feel toothache are interproximal decays. The use of dental floss is as important as brushing teeth to prevent these decays.
There are two types of dental flosses: nylon waxed floss and PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) floss. Waxed floss is suitable for those with tight teeth and have difficulty in using the floss. PTFE floss can be used even tighter teeth.
It is better to use dental floss before each time you brush your teeth. If it is not possible for you, try to use it at least once a day before going to bed.
Cut the floss about 30-35 cm and wrap your middle fingers of both hands. Leave 5-6 cm of unwrapped portion in the middle. Hold this part taut by holding with your thumb or index finger. Place it slightly between your teeth with back and forth movements. When it gets between your teeth, move up and down to clean the tooth surfaces. The floss should clean the surfaces of both teeth. It is good to touch the gum with the floss, but try not to hurt your gum. Repeat this process between each teeth, but applying the unused areas of the dental floss will be more hygienic. If it is difficult to use the floss with your fingers, you can plastic floss picks. There are also specially developed dental floss (ex. oral-b super floss) for cleaning braces, bridges and wide gaps between teeth. They have a stiffened end to floss under appliances. Its use may be rather troublesome. Instead, using a dental water flosser such as oxyjet may be much more practical.
Many people prefer not to use dental floss. Using a dental floss may be particularly difficult for cleaning the bridges, implants or orthodontic braces. Instead, you can use a dental water flosser or mouth washer that washes your teeth with pressurized water. Although we do not recommend too many brands, we recommend oxyjet, which is an oral-b product. You can choose the water pressure and spray pattern.
If you choose the water pressure too high you can irritate and cause bleeding of your gums. A lot of water can also be scattered around. At the beginning, you can use your dental irrigator at phase 1 and 2 while bending over a washbasin. Then you can use phase 3 or 4. You can use water stream to clean your teeth like dental floss. It is better to use in rotating stream mode to clean your teeth and gums.
You can also add a small amount of mouthwash (listerine; oral-b; sensodyne; colgate etc.) into the water container. Please make sure you fill the water container with lukewarm water first, then add the mouthwash. The device comes in 4 different color headers and allows 4 people to use the same device. We particularly recommend this device for patients who have implants and bridges. Those who do not like to use dental floss are strongly advised to use this device. You will see that the food residue that you can not clean with brushing comes out easily when you use a dental irrigator.
They are mouthwashes that are suitable for daily use. The most commonly used one is Listerine. Apart from that, almost all toothpaste-producing company has its own mouthwashes (Ipana, Colgate, Sensodyne, Oral-b etc.) and they are all suitable for daily use. Unlike other gargles sold in pharmacies, these mouthwashes are suitable for continuous use. The use of other gargles for more than 2 weeks can lead to various side effects.
Use it as recommended by the manufacturer. Don’t dilute the solution with water. Swish for a full 30 seconds. Gargle in your mouth and spit the solution out in the washbasin. It would be more effective if you do not use water for rinsing.
All methods described above prevent tooth decay as well as prevent or at least delay tartar formation. Even if you regularly apply all these methods, you may still have tartar because of the nature of your saliva. There is a conventional wisdom that cleaning up tartar is harmful for your teeth. That is not true. Tartar serve as a foreign substance in your gums and they are pulled away from this foreign substance. This causes gum recession. Scaling the tartar with the right method has no harm and preserves your teeth.
First of all, it should be known that people who do not have tartar do not need to have their teeth cleaned. Any unnecessary intervention is harmful. If you have tartar, it should be cleaned in every 6 months to 2 years depending on the frequency of tartar formation. Many people who consume cigarettes, tea, and coffee often think that the stains on their teeth are dental plaque and want them to be cleaned at frequent intervals. As long as these consuming habits continue, these stains will reappear very quickly. Consult your dentist about dental cleaning, and act accordingly.
A 15-minute revisit appointment is required once a year unless your dentist calls for check-in for a shorter period. If you have any dental problems, your dentist can identify and fix them during this short appointment. In addition, this session will be useful to check the results of your previous treatments.
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