"gingiva" is the technical term for "gums," and they might think "calculus" is a form of mathematics. Use simple layman terms.
The use of visual aids, such as charts and patient literature, can help illustrate the progression of dental disease or effective hygiene techniques and reinforce your discussion with the patient. The use of a disclosing agent can increase the impact of your instruction on the patient. By using this agent before the appointment, you can actually show the patient the areas that he or she missed during the cleansing technique. Remember your job is not to chastise the patient for past neglect, but to educate and encourage improvement in oral hygiene.
Home care is NOT limited to the home. Let your patients know that they can keep extra toothbrushes and dental floss at work. The difference between oral hygiene and dental disease is not toothbrushing, but mouth cleansing. Everybody brushes their teeth, but the goal is to thoroughly clean the mouth.
One of the major causes of tooth decay and periodontal disease is bacterial plaque. Bacterial plaque is an almost invisible film of water, containing cells and millions of living bacteria. To prevent dental diseases, you must effectively remove this destructive film
at least once during a 24-hour period. By keeping your teeth and gums clean, you will have better health, retain your natural appearance, enjoy chewing and talking, and prevent bad breath.
The toothbrush can remove the bacterial film from the facial, lingual, and occlusal surfaces of the teeth. Brush gently but with enough pressure to feel the bristles on the gum. Do not use so much pressure that you feel discomfort. The method we will describe here, the
"Modified Bass" technique, is effective and relatively easy for most patients to perform. Sometimes other methods are recommended in special situations, such as malocclusion.
Toothpaste foams and prevents you from seeing if you are placing the brush properly. While a person is learning to brush properly, it is best to omit toothpaste or use it in a second brushing.
Your toothbrush should have soft, multitufted nylon bristles. It should have a rigid plastic handle and a small and flat head.
For all facial surfaces and the posterior lingual surfaces, point the bristles at the teeth at a 45° angle. Lay the bristles in the sulcus area and use a gentle vibrating motion (fig. 3-26).
For the lingual surfaces of the anterior teeth, place the brush as shown in figure 3-27 and use small circular scrubbing strokes.
When brushing the occlusal surfaces, place the bristles flat on the surface and use the same scrubbing strokes as for the other surfaces (fig. 3-28). Move the bristles around the mouth in a regular pattern so as not to skip any areas.
Many electric toothbrushes are accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA) and have earned its seal of approval. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions on the use and maintenance of these products.
Figure 3-26. - Brushing the sulcus area.
Figure 3-27. - Brushing the lingual surfaces of anterior teeth.Continue Reading