Cleaning & Oral Hygiene



Why is flossing important? Most cavities and periodontal disease begin between the teeth. While brushing is important, the bristles of your toothbrush simply don’t remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth. That’s why we recommend that you floss every day.

How to floss

Don’t worry about the type of floss; they all work pretty much the same. Choose the type of floss you like. Wind 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about five inches between your hands. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, and leave about one inch in between to work with. Gently guide the floss down between the teeth using a side-to-side motion. If your teeth are too tight to floss, or if it catches or tears, let us know about it. These are problems that need to be fixed. Pull the floss tightly in a C-shape around the side of the tooth and slide it under the gumline. Clean the surface of the tooth by moving the floss up and down several times to remove all the food and bacteria. Then pull the floss around the next tooth and repeat the process. Wind the floss to a fresh section and gradually work your way around your mouth, cleaning both sides of every tooth. If you have problems reaching some areas, you may want to use a floss fork. If your gums are infected, they’ll bleed when you floss. That’s to be expected if you are just beginning to floss. After a week or so of regular flossing, the bleeding should go away, and you’ll be well on your way to healthier teeth and gums.


Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, proper tooth brushing involves these things:

  • A soft toothbrush. A soft brush is kinder to your teeth and gums, and also makes it much easier to remove the plaque below the gumline, where periodontal disease starts.
  • Toothpaste with fluoride. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride hardens the outer enamel layer of the teeth. It might stop a cavityin its tracks and will give you more resistance to future cavities.

Homecare braces

Braces are a great way to straighten and realign your teeth to create the beautiful smile you deserve. However, caring for your teeth while you have braces can be challenging because there are a lot of brackets, bands, and wires to work around. Because these fixtures create dozens of nooks and crannies in your mouth, there are more places for food particles and plaque to hide. This can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and permanent staining, which will negatively affect the terrific smile your braces were meant to create.

Caring for your teeth when you’re wearing braces

We’ll be happy to show you special techniques for caring for your teeth while you have your braces.

  • Floss at least once a day. We’ll give you a floss threader to use at home. Insert floss into the loop of the floss threader, and then insert the floss threader between the wires and your teeth. Remove the floss threader,pull the floss into a “C” shape around the side of your tooth, and floss up and down the sides of each tooth.
  • Check carefully to see if you’ve missed any areas and then rinse thoroughly with plenty of water.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. Brush in the morning, before bed, and after each meal, giving extra attention to the areas where the brackets and bands meet the tooth, and where the tooth meets the gumline. It’s also a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush, so you can brush your teeth when you’re away from home.
  • At times when you absolutely cannot brush, be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
  • As you brush, angle the brush toward your gums and go over each tooth using a small, circular motion. Get between the wires and brackets as much as you can with the bristles of your toothbrush.
  • Don’t forget to gently brush your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth.
  • Be sure to visit us every six months for an exam and a thorough, professional cleaning. We’ll help you keep your mouth free from plaque and cavities.