oral-hygieneA lifelong healthy and beautiful smile can only be achieved and maintained with your help. Your personal home care is essential to keeping your gums and teeth healthy. Good oral hygiene helps remove dental plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease, preventing cavities and fighting bad breath.

Maintaining your oral health not only benefits your smile, but your overall health as well. The connection between gum disease (periodontitis) and heart disease has been well documented in the medical field, along with other health risks. Practicing good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of developing gum disease and further associated health complications.


Tooth Brushing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste. Brushing removes sugars and carbohydrates left on the teeth which form dental plaque housing tooth decaying bacteria. A good brushing will removed dental plaque bacteria and reduce your risk of getting dental cavities.

Brushing Technique

Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion. Make sure you brush for at least two minutes and brush all surfaces of your teeth (outter, inner, and bitting surfaces). Also, make sure you brush your tongue to remover bacteria and freshen your breath.
Electronic toothbrushes are recommended for people who do not brush long enough and use improper technique. If you are having difficulty brushing in small circles or feel like you are brushing too hard or not brushing long enough an electronic tooth brush might be the way to go. Consult with Dr. Dekano to see if electronic tooth brush is indicted and which type.


Daily flossing, especially before bed after brushing, is the best way to remove dental plaque from between your teeth. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. If you are new to flossing, don’t be discouraged, it takes time to get a hang of it. Also, if you notice your gums bleeding during flossing don’t let that stop you. Usually gums that are inflamed will bleed with flossing until they become healthy.

Flossing Technique

Take 12-16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 to 3 inches of floss between the hands. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth and slide back and forth. Curve the floss to remove plaque from the sides of each tooth and pull it down and slide in one direction to remove plaque from below the gum line.


It is important to rinse your mouth after you floss to remove the debris broken up by flossing. Plain water usually does the trick. However, using an antibacterial mouthwash can help kill off plaque causing bacteria and prevent gingivitis. Also, flouride rinses can strengthen enamel surfaces and help prevent tooth decay. Ask Dr. Dekano if he recommends using a mouthwash and which type.