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Brush, floss and scrape!

Brush, Floss, and Scrape are the three most important steps to a good oral hygiene routine. Why is having good oral hygiene so important? It helps prevent cavities, gum diseases, and other dental problems. Not only does good Rensselaer oral hygiene help prevent cavities and other dental complications but also protects you from having serious health issues later on in life.

Get rid of Plaque: Fight the enemy!

The number one enemy of oral hygiene fights is plaque. We have heard about plaque from our past dentists but here at Rensselaer Dentists we want to inform you what plaque is. Plaque is a sticky film that can build up on our teeth caused by poor oral hygiene. This sticky film contains bacteria and creates acid which can eat away at bones under the gum line. This may result in tooth loss. It is important to brush teeth at least twice a day and preferably after each meal as a minimum. While brushing removes some plaque, not all of the plaque can be eliminated. The remaining plaque becomes hardened over time and can only be removed professionally by a dentist.

Certain foods cause bacteria to produce acids. Examples are sweets and snacks, like crackers. Plaque can also form easily when dry mouth develops. Salvia formation helps wash away bacteria. Without salvia bacteria stay and grow. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications. In this case, extra care should be taken when practicing oral hygiene. Ask Rensselaer Dentists about the extra steps that should be taken in your oral hygiene routine.

Proper techniques in oral hygiene

Proper techniques in removing plaque are often not performed correctly. Let’s talk about how to accomplish plaque removal.

Tooth Brushing

Place the toothbrush at an angle of forty five degrees relative to the teeth. Start the brushing activity at the gum line and brush away from this location. Make sure the entire tooth has been brushed by using short broad strokes at the chewing surfaces including all inner and outer surfaces.

Proper Flossing

Wrap flossing material securely around the same finger from both hands. About eighteen inches for each piece of floss used should be sufficient. The floss should be placed between the thumb and index finger. Guide the floss between two teeth using a rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line wrap it around the side of the tooth in the shape of a c. Glide the floss up and down the side of the tooth to remove food particles and plaque. Do this for every side of every tooth.

Proper Scraping

Most people forget to scrape or brush their tongue ending up with a film enveloping on the surface. This film contains bacteria causing potential cavities and bad breath. With a tongue scraper or a tooth brush, brush or scrape down from the base of the tongue to the tip.

Signs when you do not have good oral hygiene

When plaque starts to build up between the teeth and the gum line, gums become red and swollen. Pockets of bacteria may form causing bone loss and sensitivity of teeth may develop. Bad breath is a sign of tooth decay caused from bacteria. If these signs are present, let us help you get back on track with a customized Rensselaer oral hygiene routine.

  1. Make an appointment with your dentist for cleaning twice a year.
  2. Change tooth brushes every 3 months
  3. rush with a fluoride toothpaste
  4. Brush your teeth at least twice per day
  5. Floss daily

How oral hygiene can affect your appearance and overall health

Bad oral hygiene can cause a multitude of problems for you. The number one thing to consider is tooth loss. This may not only cause an unattractive smile but may be a contributing factor to chronic diseases. Here are some examples of how oral bacteria are associated with diseases. Endocarditis- Bacteria formed from the oral cavity can move via the bloodstream causing an infection in the lining of the heart.


It has been suggested that infections in the body can cause blood sugar levels to rise. In addition, the immune system of diabetics is lowered and bacteria can grow more easily.

Alzheimer's Disease

Studies suggest that tooth loss before the age of thirty five years is a risk factor possibly contributing to Alzheimer’s disease.

These are just a few of the diseases that are linked to bad oral hygiene. Remember, Rensselaer Dentists will help you in the battle against plaque. Make an appointment twice a year for a checkup and for teeth cleaning. This will make your smile last for a lifetime.

Rensselaer Dentist