Oral care and dental hygiene, Geelong

At Wyatt Ryan Dental in Geelong we believe that prevention is always preferable to the cure and, therefore, we encourage our clients to develop effective oral care and hygiene programs.

To help you avoid visits to our Geelong dental clinic for fillings or, worse, an extraction, our dentists have compiled a brief guideline to dental care and what constitutes dental cleanliness and dental health.

First, the reasons to maintain good dental hygiene are obvious – it ensures you have clean and healthy teeth, it prevents halitosis (bad breath) and it helps keep your gums healthy, which in turn helps keep your teeth healthy.

Dental care

To begin with, if you have any tooth pain or bleeding from the gums when you brush or floss, or have ongoing bad breath then you should visit our dental clinic in Geelong as soon as possible because these symptoms are indicators of dental problems.

Each day it is important that you brush your teeth at least twice and that you also floss once daily. Brushing and flossing remove debris from your teeth and gums and help prevent gum disease. It is also important that you avoid sugary foods and drinks and try not to snack in between meals. Ensure you eat a healthy and balanced diet.

When brushing and flossing, make sure you use a good-quality toothbrush in good condition, quality floss and a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Some people have concerns about fluoride, but most dentists favour children using fluoridated toothpastes and drinking fluoridated water or, if the water supply does not contain fluoride, parents can provide children with fluoride supplements. Geelong’s water supply has been fluoridated since 2009.

The right toothbrush

Most dentists will agree that the best toothbrush has soft bristles and a small head. Your toothbrush must be in good condition. Once your toothbrush shows signs of wear, throw it out and buy a new one otherwise you risk not cleaning your teeth properly and also damaging your gums. As a guide, replace your toothbrush at least every 1o to 12 weeks. Make sure your toothbrush fits your mouth and comfortably reaches all your teeth, including the back ones.

Brushing your teeth

You need to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth – two minutes! If you’re not sure how much time you spend cleaning your teeth, time yourself. When cleaning your teeth, make sure you don’t use a lot of pressure or forceful strokes. The best method involves gentle, short strokes focusing on each surface of all teeth, right down to the gumline. A routine pattern can help. Try starting with the outer surfaces of your top teeth, then moving to outer surfaces of your bottom teeth, followed by inner surface of your bottom teeth, then the inner surfaces of top teeth and ending with chewing surfaces. If you want, you can also gently clean the surface of your tongue, which can help improve your breath. Importantly, enjoy cleaning your teeth because it’s pleasurable and enormously beneficial. If you’re not sure, ask one of our Geelong dentists for cleaning advice.

The right toothpaste

There are so many toothpastes to choose from these days – pastes for sensitive teeth, for brighter teeth, for whiter teeth! Make sure you choose a quality fluoride toothpaste, or seek advice from our dentists.

How to floss

Flossing is an important part of any dental care plan but is overlooked by many people. Flossing cleans the parts of your teeth a toothbrush can’t reach and helps prevent plaque build-up. Flossing is a simple process. Just take about 30cm of floss and wind the ends around the middle finger of each hand so it doesn’t slip, leaving between 3cm and 5cm of floss between your hands. Pull the floss taut and pass it between your teeth. Gently work the floss around each tooth, using a back-and-forth motion, right down to and just below the gumline. Be careful not to use force because you could damage your gums. Continue to use a back-and-forth motion as you come up each tooth. Use a new, clean section of floss as you progress from one tooth to the next.

If you have questions about dental care and hygiene, ask the dentists at Geelong’s Wyatt Ryan Dental. Contact our Geelong dental clinic to make an appointment.