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Oral hygiene at home

„Never forget to smile. Even if you feel sad. Someone may fall in love with your smile” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

A nice smile, healthy teeth and fresh breath are essential hygienic and aesthetic requirements and with proper oral hygiene you can do a lot to achieve it. All you need is appropriate tools and careful attention.

Why is it necessary to brush your teeth?

If you do not brush your teeth, a white and sticky film called plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque is a mixture of saliva, bacteria and food debris. If it is not removed, acid producing bacteria can cause tooth decay.

Toothbrush

The most important tool for proper oral hygiene is the toothbrush. Dentists recommend brushes with soft bristles in order to avoid scratching or wearing down your teeth, to prevent sensitivity of the neck of your teeth and gum recession (pulling away of your gums). Toothbrushes with dense and equally long bristles can act as a soft piece of cloth and remove the plaque gently. Soft bristles require less strength to press them against the teeth, they can reach in between the teeth and adjust to their surface easily. Shops sell a wide variety of “intelligent” toothbrushes that have a flexible neck. Resist temptation to buy them. The most effective toothbrush has a straight head and a fixed neck. With these types of brushes you can reach all areas in your mouth and will not leave uncleaned surfaces. Choose a brush with a small head, because with this brush you can even brush the back teeth properly. All in all, the best toothbrush has a straight neck, a small head and soft bristles of equal length. Swayed bristles cannot remove plaque efficiently and the toothbrush must be replaced. Brushes become worn down and need to be replaced after 3 months of usage.
We recommend Curaprox Sensitive brushes. CS1560 soft is a brush with special Curen filaments for those who like medium soft bristles. CS3960 supersoft is a brush with fine and soft bristles. CS5460 ultrasoft is a brush with extra soft but durable and effective bristles. Curaprox Single is a single-tuft brush to clean around implants, back teeth, single teeth and braces.

Proper tooth brushing technique

Using a good tooth brush is not enough, a proper technique is also essential. Avoid exerting excessive pressure, try to massage your teeth. Always move the tooth brush in the direction your teeth grow: on the upper teeth move downward gently pulling the gum onto the teeth, while on the lower teeth move upward. To clean the chewing surfaces, make little horizontal strokes. Do not forget to clean your gum, but avoid brushing it too hard and do not use horizontal movements. Remember to clean the inside surfaces of your teeth using sweeping motion. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. It would be best to brush your teeth after each meal, although it is not always possible. Nevertheless, always brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening. It is really important to brush your teeth before going to sleep: the protective effect of saliva is less present at night due to decreased saliva production. Never eat after going to bed.

Toothpastes

There is a wide variety of tooth pastes in the shops, and you are also influenced by commercials, so it is difficult to make a good choice. What should you look for when choosing a tooth paste? A good toothpaste should contain an active agent against acids and erosion to prevent tooth decay, accumulation of tartar and gum inflammation. Other ingredients are a matter of your preference. You can by products with a whitening effect, against tartar or for sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, tooth pastes containing calcium-phosphate are recommended: Sensodyne, Meridol or Paradontax.

Dental floss

Toothbrushes alone are not sufficient to clean tooth surfaces thoroughly. You can remove plaque from all sides of your teeth using dental floss or an interdental brush (see next part). You are advised to use dental floss once a day, preferably in the evening. Break off 30-40 cm of floss, wind the ends around your index finger, guide the floss in between the teeth and remove debris from everywhere. Be careful not to injure your gum. Floss picks are also available, but they require some skills to use, so we recommend regular floss. Flossing should be done after tooth brushing, and always rinse your mouth thoroughly or use an oral irrigator. We recommend Curaprox waxed menthol floss.

Interdental brushes

Interdental brushes are not only recommended for cleaning wide gaps between teeth, around restorations or in hard-to-reach areas of braces. You can also use it if your denture is full. It can even replace dental floss. Interdental brushes consist of a tiny brush attached to a handle, and the bristles of the brush are arranged around a central wire. They are available in various shapes and sizes, and your dentist can choose the optimal one for you after careful measurement of your teeth. Interdental brushes are recommended if you have wide gaps between your teeth as a result of gum disease, or if you have dental restorations: bridges, crowns or implants, because they cannot be cleaned properly using a regular toothbrush. They can also be used to clean under braces. You can buy home and travel sets at our clinic in Szeged. We recommend the following products: CPS prime to clean between teeth, CPS regular to clean around bridges and crowns, CPS strong and implant to clean around implants, braces or crowns.

Tongue scrapers

Tongue scrapers are used to remove the foul-smelling biofilm on your tongue. You are advised to brush your tongue two times a day when you brush your teeth. By scraping your tongue you remove the biofilm and improve your sense of taste. It is an important part of proper oral hygiene. When you brush your teeth, remember to use a tongue scraper as well.

Mouth rinses

You cannot maintain proper oral hygiene without the use of mouth rinses. It can help you prevent tooth decay, keep your mouth fresh and protect the oral cavity, the throat and the gum against diseases. There is a wide variety of mouth rinses, which usually contain herbal extracts. When choosing a mouth rinse, always keep in mind what your teeth need. Mouth rinses with various ingredients and flavours can help to prevent bad breath and the built-up of plaque and tartar. If you experience bleeding of your gum, visit us as soon as possible, because bleeding can be a sign of inflammation. We can recommend you a mouth rinse that suits your condition (e.g. Listerine Total care), and you can buy the rinse at our clinic right away.

Oral irrigators

Oral irrigators are useful tools, however, they are not recommended for everyone. If you have very narrow gaps between your teeth, we recommend tooth brushing and flossing. If the gaps are wide, interdental brushes are advised.
Oral irrigators might be beneficial when you have periodontal disease, wear braces, or you have had a periodontal surgical intervention. They are also efficient to clean the area under bridges and around crowns.

Tapered tooth brushes

Tapered tooth brushes are recommended to clean hard-to reach areas, for example under braces. You can buy a tapered brush at our clinic.

Superfloss

Superfloss is a type of dental floss, which consists of a stiffened end, a spongy floss and a regular floss. Due to its special design, it is suitable to clean around bridges and implants, as well as to clean the whole dental arch. It is available in three sizes. We teach you how to use it.

Electric tooth brushes

Electric brushes are better than conventional ones in two areas of oral hygiene. One of them is the proper technique of brushing. Electric brushes are set to apply a proper circular technique, which is especially helpful in children. The other advantage is that they rub and massage the gum, which we often forget to do when we use a conventional brush. Massaging your gum gently is just as important as removing debris. If you experience mild bleeding of your gum, try to use an electric brush. You make less pressure on the gum and by massaging it gently you can restore its health. However, bleeding may indicate a variety of conditions. Always consult your dentist about proper tooth brushing.
Electric brushes prevent exerting excessive pressure on the gum, thus you can avoid injuring the soft tissues. Choose an electric brush that has a replacement head and make sure that spare heads are available in the shops. Because bacteria can accumulate on the bristles, it is advised to replace the head every 2-3 months, so it would be rather expensive to replace the whole brush.

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ORAL HYGIENE IN SPECIAL CASES

Oral hygiene for patient with braces

Wearing braces requires more meticulous oral hygiene.  Braces are eye-catching devices, that is why your teeth under the braces should look clean and white. Food pieces can get stuck under the braces, so they should be cleaned thoroughly. You can clean your braces efficiently with manual or electric interdental brushes. Tapered brushes can clean in between the teeth, and oral irrigators are also useful. It is also recommended to have regular professional cleaning performed by your dentist. We recommend using Curaprox products.

Oral hygiene for patient with tooth jewels

Tooth jewels require thorough cleaning, because bacteria can accumulate in the debris on the jewels and it can lead to tooth decay. Clean your tooth jewels, your gum and in between your teeth carefully. You can enhance the efficiency of cleaning using an oral irrigator and antibacterial mouth rinse.

Oral hygiene after tooth extraction

Avoid eating until the effect of the anaesthetic (numbing medication) has worn off. Do not rinse the site of the extraction for a day after the procedure. Refrain from dairy products for two days, because they can increase the risk of bacteria in your mouth. Do not chew on the site of the extraction to prevent injury to the wound. One day after the intervention you can start cleaning the site gently, and you can start using rinses as well. We can also give you a spray to enhance healing of your wound. If you develop pain, fever or bleeding, contact us immediately. You can also buy a special tooth brush used after surgical interventions at our clinic. We recommend using Curaprox Surgical brush: it has more than 12,000 ultra fine soft bristles.

Oral hygiene after root canal treatment

It is advised to suck on the tooth to remove the discharge from inside the tooth. Avoid blocking the whole in your tooth, because it can delay the healing process.

Oral hygiene for patients with crowns or bridges

Brush your teeth with a soft brush making vertical strokes moving from the gum towards the chewing surface. You can clean under your bridge with a special brush and superfloss recommended by the dentist after careful measurement. When you rinse your mouth, try to press the water under the bridge. Oral irrigators are also efficient to clean areas which are hard to reach.

How to take care of removable dentures?

Remove and clean your denture after each meal. Make sure you clean the clips very carefully. Brush your remaining teeth with a brush and tooth paste.  Before removing your denture, fill the washbasin with water in order to prevent damaging your denture in case you drop it accidentally. You can wear your denture at night, but if you find it uncomfortable to sleep with the denture in your mouth, remove it and  store it in a dry, airy box. Storing your denture in water during the night can increase the risk of fungi building up on the surface. Once a week you are advised to soak your denture in a special cleanser for 30 minutes. You can buy cleansers at our clinic. When you use a cleanser, rinse the denture thoroughly before wearing it. We recommend using Corega tabs.

How to clean removable bite plates?

Use a separate tooth brush to clean the appliance, rinse it thoroughly and dry it with a hairdryer. Store it in a dry, airy box. Once a week you are advised to clean the plate with a special antibacterial cleanser. Rinse the plate thoroughly before wearing it.

Oral hygiene for children

Before 6 months of age

It is advised to start proper oral hygiene even in little babies without teeth.  After breastfeeding wipe your baby’s mouth with a wet piece of cloth. When the first teeth start coming out, massage the swollen gum gently and give your child a soft, cooled teether to chew on. It is important to know that Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium responsible for tooth decay is not present in the mouth at birth, it is transmitted from others. Therefore, do not share your spoon with your child, do not put his/her pacifier in your mouth, and do not sneeze or cough at your baby. We recommend Curaprox CSK 2860 to clean newly erupting milk teeth.

Until 3 years of age

Start brushing the teeth as soon as the first milk teeth come in. Brush your child’s teeth with a toothbrush and tooth paste that suits his/her age at least once a day. After the age of 2, brush teeth two times a day to help your child get used to brushing teeth regularly. At the beginning, he/she can do it with your help, then by himself/herself. Setting a good example as a parent can help your child to get used to this habit. He/she may think it is a good game to brush your teeth together. It should not take too long: the purpose is to remove the plaque from the tiny teeth and help the child to develop the habit of brushing teeth in the evening. Replace your child’s toothbrush every 2-3 months. Let him choose his/her own toothbrush. Although most children do not like it, clean the tongue as well to remove bacteria. The purpose of tooth brushing at this age is to make your child like it. Explain your child what happens if the teeth are not cleaned. If he/she refuses to brush teeth, wait for a few days, and start it again. Never give sweet drinks to your child after tooth brushing.

Between 3 – 6 years of age

Children of this age can brush their teeth quite well, however, their manual skills are developed enough to do it on their own only at school age. Until that time, be sure to supervise their oral hygiene. We recommend using Curaprox Curakid tooth brushes.