Figure 3-31. - Hand position for flossing maxillary posterior teeth.
To clean between all lower teeth, hold the floss with the forefingers of both hands (fig. 3-32). You can insert the floss gently between all lower teeth with the floss over your forefingers in this position. Figure 3-33 illustrates the correct method for flossing between the lower back teeth, using the two forefingers to guide the floss.
Are your patient's teeth clean? When flossing has been completed, rinse vigorously with water to remove food particles and plaque. Also advise the patient to rinse with water after eating if unable to floss or brush. Neither rinsing alone nor water-spraying devices remove the bacterial plaque because of the glue-like
Figure 3-32. - Floss position for the mandibular teeth.
Figure 3-33. - Hand position for flossing mandibular posterior teeth.
material in the plaque. To ensure all areas of the teeth are clean, a disclosing agent can be used to determine if any surfaces on the teeth were missed during flossing.
After treatment of the teeth or gums, the exposed root surfaces may be sensitive to cold and heat. This condition is usually temporary if the teeth are kept clean. If the teeth are not kept clean, the sensitivity may remain and become more severe. For the few patients who have severe sensitivity, the use of specially medicated toothpastes and mouthwashes may be recommended.
Although dentifrices (toothpaste) are not necessary for effective cleaning of the teeth, they may be refreshing for the patient and have a psychological benefit. Instruct your patients that if they wish to use a dentifrice, they should select a fluoridated toothpaste displaying the ADA seal of approval. 3-18