"gingiva" is the technical term for "gums," and they
might think "calculus" is a form of mathematics. Use
simple layman terms.
patient for past neglect, but to educate and encourage
improvement in oral hygiene.
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
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
Figure 3-26.Brushing the sulcus area.
Figure 3-27.Brushing the lingual surfaces of anterior teeth.