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The goal of brushing and flossing is to remove and disrupt plaque and debris from your teeth. Brushing handles the easy to reach surfaces and flossing gets at the places you can’t get to with a toothbrush.
While the enamel of your teeth is the hardest substance in your body, you can still damage it with incorrect brushing techniques. There are a variety of techniques, but the best involve a massaging motion with a soft-bristle toothbrush for two to three minutes. Hard brushes and overly vigorous brushing can wear your tooth enamel over time. Be sure to brush the area at and below the gum line by holding the brush at a 45-degree angle. Fluoride helps your tooth enamel remain hard and strong, so be sure to use toothpaste with fluoride.
Up to 35% of the surface of your teeth cannot be reached with a toothbrush. Some of this area is interproximal, or between the teeth, and the remainder is below the gum line.
Dental floss is a fiber, usually nylon, which comes on a spool. We use it to gently disturb or scrape the plaque between our teeth, particularly near the gum line.
Fluoride is a naturally occuring element found in many things, like the water we drink and the food we eat. The fluoride that is absorbed by your body is used by the cells that build your teeth to make stronger enamel.
Topical fluoride, flouride that is applied to the outside of the enamel, makes the crystals that form enamel more durable and much more resistant to acid. They are less likely to breakdown and cause the tooth surface to become porous.
Getting the right amount of fluoride is one of the most important things you can do for their dental health. Flouride is an amazingly powerful weapon in the battle against tooth decay and has been shown to:
Studies have shown that children who drink fluoridated water from birth have 40 to 60 percent fewer cavities than those who don’t. Fluoridated water, toothpaste and rinses are great sources of fluoride, and dentists can apply topical fluoride or prescribe fluoride supplements when needed. If your drinking water is not flouridated, it is more important than ever to take active steps to get proper amounts of flouride. Feel free to ask us about flouride and its role in your dental health.
Dental hygienists are registered and certified health professionals who specialize in preventing oral health problems and diseases. They work with individual clients or communities to prevent tooth, gum and mouth diseases and injuries that can affect overall health. In the world of prevention and restoration, prevention is the key role of the hygienist. When all is going well, you will such much more of your hygienist than your dentist.