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Regular visits to Dr. Kevin F. Postol and his hygiene department in Ballwin ensure both proper preventative dental care and routine dental hygiene, allowing you to maintain the good oral health that is necessary for your overall well-being and systemic health. Our superior dental diagnostics equipment and materials detect any changes to your teeth, tissues, or bone, including cracks, decay, gum disease, or the breakdown of dental restorations.
Educating our patients in Ballwin, located near St. Louis, on effective dental hygiene is the heart of our practice! Contact our Ballwin office today to discover how to improve your dental health through proper oral hygiene.
How to Clean Your Teeth
Frequent and proper brushing and flossing, along with your regular professional dental cleaning, will help reduce and remove plaque – a contributing factor to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is a soft, sticky, colorless bacterial film that grows on the hard surfaces of teeth. These bacteria use the sugar and starch from food particles in the mouth to produce acid. Left to accumulate, this acid produces foul breath, destroys the outer enamel of the tooth, and irritates gums to the point of bleeding.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, but preferably after every meal. You should use a soft bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush, and replace it every 3-4 months or as soon as the bristles begin to fray.
Start by choosing your toothpaste carefully, ensuring that you buy one that contains fluoride.
Place a pea-sized amount on your toothbrush.
Use gentle, circular, short strokes (about the width of a tooth) against the teeth and gums.
For the outer tooth surfaces, place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line.
To clean the chewing and inner tooth surfaces use a gentle back and forth motion.
To clean the inner front tooth surfaces hold the brush upright and use gentle up and down strokes with the tip of the brush.
Don’t forget to brush along the gum line. Do not brush too vigorously as this may cause damage to the gum tissue.
It is recommended that you spend two minutes each time you brush your teeth. You should spend 30 seconds brushing each section of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left).
The tongue should also be brushed using a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove any food particles and bacteria that may sour the breath.
Thoroughly rinse the toothbrush to remove debris and toothpaste. Do not routinely store your toothbrush in a closed container, as the moist environment is more conducive than the open air to the growth of microorganisms.
A good flossing routine and technique is essential for oral health. Flossing once a day helps prevent gum disease by stimulating your gums and removing food particles and plaque. It allows you to reach areas that your toothbrush cannot, especially those spaces at and below the gum line which can also result in tooth decay. If you don’t floss you’re leaving up to forty percent of your tooth surface untouched and unclean.
Cut off a section of floss between 18 and 24 inches. Wrap the ends of the piece around your middle fingers.
Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers. Leave about one inch of floss between your hands.
Gently work the floss between your teeth. Be careful never to “snap” the floss into the gum tissue.
When you reach the gum line, curve the floss into a “C” shape around the tooth. Make sure to go below the gum line on the tooth.
Gently glide the floss up and down several times between each tooth, including your back teeth. Apply pressure against the tooth while flossing. Unwind a new section of floss after every tooth.
Once you have completed flossing all of your teeth, rinse vigorously with an antiseptic oral rinse. This will wash away any food matter that was loosened but not removed.