Oral hygiene - Dental Group

Oral hygiene

What is oral hygiene

Oral hygiene is extremely important for prevention, during periodontal or orthodontic treatment and also for the maintenance of the therapeutic result. For these reasons we encourage all our patients to follow a daily program of oral hygiene.

By implementing the rules of proper oral hygiene, you are going to preserve your natural dentition and the teeth you have restored in a good condition. You will avoid the occurrence of caries and you will keep under control gingivitis and periodontitis. Moreover, if you are under orthodontic treatment, proper oral hygiene is necessary to avoid unpleasant implications that will affect the integrity of your teeth.

At Dental Group oral hygiene education starts with your first appointment and continues during your next sessions through demonstration and monitoring. All patients receive instructions for proper oral hygiene and are encouraged to practice them at a specially designed area under the supervision of our dentists and qualified assistants. Particular attention and care is given to children and patients with braces or implants.

In addition, parents are also instructed about the care of their children’s teeth and tips regarding a healthy nutrition are provided.

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stomatiki3Modification of oral hygiene common practice to orthodontics patient

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  • Use soft or medium hardness toothbrush, never use a hard toothbrush.
  • Prefer a toothbrush with a small head that reaches more easily the back teeth.
  • Prefer a toothbrush with flat bristles (not wavy) for an easier direction of more bristles to the right area.
  • Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day, preferably after meals.
  • Brush the upper surface of your tongue.
  • Use dental floss at least once a day.
  • Use interdental brush where there are spaces between the teeth.
  • Choose, with the help of your dentist, the right size of interdental brushes.
  • Use Super-floss under the dental bridges.
  • If you use a mouthwash solution always use it after brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid sticky and sugary foods.
  • Follow a balanced nutrition program.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Place, as a prevention measure, varnishes/ fillings (sealants) on the teeth with intense grooves.
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and maintenance (teeth cleaning).
stomatiki4Tongue brushing
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Brushing is the most effective method to remove dental plaque. Thus, if you brush your teeth correctly and effectively, you can protect your teeth from gingivitis and caries.

  • Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day, preferably after your meals.
  • Turn the toothbrush’s bristles to a  45º against the tooth aiming towards the gum-line. Try to enter the bristles of the toothbrush in the sulcus that is formed between the gums and the tooth. Move the toothbrush in a horizontal direction or make small circles.
  • Focus on a small area (2-3 teeth), so as to have a better precision of your movements. When that area becomes clean enough, you can move on to the adjacent teeth.
  • You don’t have to brush your gums (massage).
  • Don’t forget the inner surface of your teeth. These surfaces are more difficultly cleaned, so it is best to start from these first.
  • Brush your teeth for at least 2-3 minutes.
  • In case your gums have receded (recessions), ask your dentist how to modify your brushing technique.
  • In case you wear braces, ask your orthodontist how to modify your brushing technique. (read below)
  • Consult your dentist for the correct use of the electrical toothbrush.

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teeth_column
  • Use soft or medium hardness toothbrush. Never use a hard one.
  • Prefer a toothbrush with a small head that reaches more easily the back teeth.
  • Prefer a toothbrush with flat bristles (not wavy) for an easier direction of more bristles to the right area.
  • Electrical toothbrushes are equally effective as the manual toothbrushes if both are used correctly.
  • Electrical toothbrushes are preferred by patients that find difficulty in making horizontal or round movements of the toothbrush inside their mouth.
  • Electrical toothbrushes have a timer, so as to remind you the duration of your brushing.
  • Electrical and manual toothbrushes have to be replaced when their bristles get disfigured.
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The removal of dental plaque is done, mostly, mechanically by the toothbrush. Toothpastes, generally, have small antibacterial effect, which makes the selection of the toothpaste not crucially important, in most cases.

A number of toothpastes contain higher concentrations of fluoride and are recommended to patients that are more vulnerable to caries.

For patients with tooth sensitivity, usually to cold or hot stimuli, there are special toothpastes that reduce this discomfort. However, their effectiveness is not the same to all patients. “Whitening” toothpastes have a more coarse texture and should be avoided by patients with tooth sensitivity.

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  • The dental floss is designed in a way so as to remove harmful bacteria and food residues that are trapped between the teeth. Thus, the use of dental floss eliminates the possibility of the occurrence of caries or gingivitis to the side teeth surfaces.
  • The toothbrush is not designed to reach and clean the surfaces between the teeth. Therefore, brushing alone cannot replace the use of dental floss.
  • The use of dental floss has to be done at least once a day, usually at night time. Similarly to tooth brushing, flossing has to endure at least 2-3 minutes.

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  • Dental floss may vary in thickness, color, material and taste. Dental floss with a wax coverage allows people with extremely narrow spaces between their teeth to move the dental floss more easily.
  • There are special floss-handles that allow patients to reach, easier, the posterior teeth. These floss-handles are particularly useful for patients that lack dexterity due to arthritis or for patients with large fingers that do not fit in the mouth.
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Floss handle (GUM®)
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Floss handle (Oral-B®)
  • People with large spaces between their teeth have to use interdental brushes of various sizes instead of dental floss.

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  • Under the dental bridges you should use super-floss or intedental brushes instead of dental floss.

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  • People with large spaces between their teeth have to use interdental brushes of various sizes instead of dental floss.
  • Interdental brushes come in different sizes so as to adjust better to the spaces between the teeth.
  • Interdental brushes are not for single use. However, they should be replaced when their bristles get disfigured.
  • Interdental brushes are not used with toothpaste.
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Interdental brushes of various sizes

Your teeth can remain healthy and beautiful, as long as you follow the oral hygiene instructions every day. At the same time, a professional dental scaling is necessary 1-2 times a year to further minimize the risk of having caries, gingivitis, periodontitis and other oral diseases.

The aim of the professional scaling is to remove the remaining dental plaque and calculus (tartar) that accumulate around the teeth and therefore bring the gums to a healthy status. At the same time, the dentist has, also, the chance to check the teeth for carious lesions.

The professional scaling is necessary, because there are areas in the mouth, like the spaces between the teeth, the periodontal pockets or the areas of the wisdom teeth, that are hard to reach by the patient.

stomatiki17Cooperation of the dentist with the patient

The preservation of good oral health in orthodontic patients is very important. The movement of the teeth when the gums are inflamed can lead to the destruction of the bone that supports the teeth. Moreover, the inflamed gums are usually swollen and this may prevent proper oral hygiene and cause aesthetic problems.

stomatiki18Swelling of gums because of poor oral hygiene

Orthodontic appliances (i.e braces) are ideal areas for food impaction and plaque accumulation. Therefore, apart from the correct cleaning of the teeth (see above) the, meticulous, cleaning of these appliances is necessary as well. This is not always easy but the patient can:

  • brush with the toothbrush around the braces.
  • brush between the teeth and around the braces with the interdental brushes.
  • clean around the braces with dental floss or Super-floss

If the patient uses removable appliances (i.e. retainers) these have to be cleaned thoroughly with the use of a liquid soap and a soft toothbrush.

stomatiki19The braces are areas of food and bacteria retention
stomatiki21Cleaning around the braces with the use of Super-floss
stomatiki20Brushing around the braces with the use of a toothbrush
stomatiki22Cleaning around the braces with the use of dental floss