South Shore Long Island
Periodontics & Implantology P.C.
Dr. Leslie G. Batnick, D.D.S.
Dr. Lois B. Levine, D.D.S.
Dr. Joo H. Kim, D.D.S.
Diplomates, American Board of Periodontology

Periodontal Maintenance Care at Home

Any dental office – including specialists like those found at South Shore Long Island Periodontics & Implantology – will tell you that a diligent home care routine is crucial when it comes to maintaining your oral health.

Chances are good that you already know this.

What does a good home care routine entail?

  • Twice daily brushing
  • Daily flossing
  • Mouthwash or an antimicrobial treatment if recommended by your doctor

You may even be already doing this things and wondering why you aren’t getting the results you’d hoped for.

Technique Matters

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just brush and floss. The way you do it and the products you use make a difference as well.

For instance, we find that many people are using a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm. This can lead to damage to the gums, your enamel, and the surface of your restorations. Many are also brushing their teeth too vigorously, ferociously scrubbing in an effort to remove plaque and other debris.

This is a case where less can be more. Rather giving your teeth a vigorous scrub, think of brushing as a gentle massage. Let the bristles do the work and take your time. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush (your doctor or hygienist is happy to recommend one for you) and focus on one quadrant of your mouth at a time. Brush the outside, close to your cheeks, and after you brush your teeth, angle the brush so that the bristles gently massage your gum tissue. This helps to remove debris from just beneath the gum line, an area that is often neglected. Now, work on the chewing surface of your teeth in that same area, then the inside of the teeth. Work on each quadrant for at least 30 seconds in this manner.

Flossing is another area where technique is important. Use sufficient floss (your doctor or hygienist will tell you which type of floss is best for your teeth; factors like how close your teeth are and whether you have restorations can affect which type of floss you should use). Your doctor can also recommend modifications like handheld flossers, which can be useful if you have experienced any loss of dexterity. Work the floss between the teeth, and then gently work it around the tooth and up into the gumline. This will remove any additional bits of plaque from between the teeth and beneath the gumline.

Reviewing Your Home Care Routine

At every appointment, we will review your home care routine and technique. This isn’t done to nag you or to punish you. Rather, it’s to make sure that you are using an effective technique and to look for ways to improve your regimen. If you are doing everything with excellent technique, congratulations! If your technique could use a little help, we can give you a hands-on demonstration to help you get the most out of your home care routine.