Rockville Centre Dentist
225 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
(212) 732-7400
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Office Hours

Monday: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Tuesday: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Thursday: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Friday: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
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DENTAL HYGIENE

The Preventive Program

Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits. The following are helpful recommendations:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum.
  • Floss every night in an up and down motion while keeping the floss in a U-shape and against the tooth surface.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid sticky sugary foods.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed.
  • Sealants placed on young permanent teeth.

Brushing

Brushing is the best way to remove cavity-causing plaque and other debris from your teeth.

Plaque, a colorless, sticky substance, reacts with the bacteria and decaying food particles in your mouth and when left on the teeth long enough, begins to erode the enamel.

It is recommended that you brush your teeth three times a day, usually after meals and before bedtime.

Techniques

How long you spend brushing your teeth is as critical as how often you brush your teeth.

Here are some technique tips for brushing:

  • Many people simply brush for a few seconds, spit, and place the toothbrush back in the cup. It is very important to spend at least 2-3 minutes brushing your teeth. This helps to ensure that the brush doesn't miss hard-to-reach or often neglected surfaces.
  • Use short, circular motions and brush at a 45-degree angle.
  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth-the sides and chewing surfaces-as well as the lower portions near the gum line.
  • Gently brush other areas of your mouth, including your gums, tongue and "roof" of your mouth. These can be prime areas for bacteria to hide.
  • Choose toothbrushes with soft, round-headed bristles Avoid big-headed toothbrushes. Dental associations recommend that you buy a toothbrush with a compact head-1" by 1/2"-so you can easily reach the small areas of your mouth.
  • Some toothbrushes today have wide handles. This helps you control the toothbrush better. So, choose a toothbrush with a handle that is long enough and wide enough for you to handle.
  • You should replace your toothbrush at least four times a year - more often if you have been sick. 

 

Flossing

What Is Flossing?

Floss comes in a variety of materials and colors, but essentially, it is a very thin cord you hold between fingers of each hand and insert between adjoining teeth. The cord, or floss, helps loosen debris by gently moving it up and down and back and forth between the teeth.

Flossing is a proven method for loosening debris from hard-to-reach surfaces of your teeth and gum lines. Next to brushing, flossing is a highly effective method for removing plaque on tooth surfaces your brush can't reach very well.

Another benefit of flossing is increasing blood circulation in your gums. Gum stimulation is a necessary means of keeping your gum tissues healthy; strong gums are the foundation of your teeth.

How Often To Floss

Our office recommends that you practice flossing once a day. Many people find that flossing at night is an easy bedtime routine; moreover, nighttime flossing helps to protect your teeth during sleep, when harmful plaque can do a lot of damage.

Types of Floss

Dental floss comes in a variety of materials, colors, and even flavors. Waxed varieties are slipperier, allowing people with extremely tight spaces between their teeth to floss more easily. Popular flavors of floss include wintergreen and cinnamon. Waxed floss does tend to fray more than unwaxed floss.

A type of material called wide floss can be effective for people with large spaces between their teeth, or for people with delicate bridge work.

Floss can be purchased in small self-dispensing boxes. Floss can also be purchased in special, single-use holders, a useful invention for people who have a hard time wrapping floss around their fingers, including those with dexterity problems or arthritis.

Flossing Techniques

Most people who floss wrap 1-2 inches of floss around a finger on each hand, and use the floss in between on their teeth. The important thing is that you leave plenty of floss in between to allow you to maneuver inside your mouth.

One effective way is to break off about a foot of floss. Wrap one end of the floss a few times around the middle finger of each hand. You can use your forefinger and thumbs to maneuver the floss inside your mouth.

For Those with Special Needs

Those who have a hard time holding on to a piece of floss or a toothbrush can try supplementing the toothbrush handle with a rubber handle grip or ball, or even lengthening the handle with a stick or piece of plastic.

Floss can also be tied into a tiny loop on either side, making it easier to grasp and control the floss with your fingers.

Flossing Alternatives

There are several alternatives to flossing for those who find it too difficult, too painful (sensitive gums or gum disease) or ineffective (those people with braces or delicate bridge work). But remember one thing: Never use a toothpick as a substitute for flossing. Toothpicks can tear delicate gum tissue and may damage existing dental restorations.

One popular flossing alternative is called a water pick, or irrigator.

Water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to blast away food particles and other debris in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Dentists use professional-grade water picks when preparing a tooth for restoration, or in general cleaning and exams.

Fluoride Facts

For decades, fluoride has been held in high regard by the dental community as an important mineral that is absorbed into and strengthens tooth enamel, thereby helping to prevent decay of tooth structures.

In nearly every U.S. community, public drinking supplies are supplemented with sodium fluoride because the practice is acknowledged as safe and effective in fighting cavities.

Some private wells may contain naturally fluoridated water.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a safe compound found throughout nature-from the water we drink and air we breathe, to many kinds of foods.

Why Is Fluoride Important To Teeth?

Fluoride is absorbed into structures, such as bones and teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to fractures and decay. A process in your body called "remineralization" uses fluoride to repair damage caused by decay.

How Do I Get Fluoride?

Just drinking public water will provide a certain measure of fluoride protection. But for years, health professionals have endorsed the practice of supplementing our intake with certain dietary products, and topical fluorides in many toothpastes and some kinds of rinses. Certain beverages such as tea and soda may also contain fluoride. Certain kinds of dental varnishes and gels may also be applied directly to teeth to boost fluoride intake.

Fluoride Safety

It is generally NOT safe to swallow toothpastes, rinses, or other products containing topical fluoride. In rare cases, some people may be overexposed to high concentrations of fluoride, resulting in a relatively harmless condition called fluorosis, which leaves dark enamel stains on teeth.

  • People with painful gum disease or highly sensitive gums may find water picks useful for supplementing their brushing regimen. And people with orthodontia, including braces, have found water picks quite useful because toothbrush bristles often get stuck.
  • Antibacterial rinses (over-the-counter and by prescription) are somewhat effective.

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