Oral Hygiene

Practicing excellent dental hygiene helps to avoid unhealthy teeth, gum disease and costly dental treatments. This is why a good homecare routine is so important. Brushing and flossing daily can save you money and time at the dental office as well as enabling you to eat healthy and enjoy good food.


It’s important to brush your teeth in the morning and before bed every day. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles so that no damage is done to your gums and small enough to easily reach all areas of your mouth, especially the back teeth. When brushing with a manual toothbrush, use small circular motions to gently brush the gum line and teeth. Make sure that you don’t “scrub” in a back and forth motion as this will damage the gums. Brush all surfaces of the teeth – tongue side, cheek side and chewing surfaces. Brushing the tongue after each time will also help remove bacteria that cause bad breath. When you notice the bristles of your brush have started to bend outward, it is time to replace. Dr Hanania prefers electric brushes because he feels that the rotating heads can be more effective and easier for most patients to use. If you have any questions or concerns about your brushing technique, our hygienist Paula would be happy to help you at your next appointment.


Flossing is an important oral hygiene habit.  It cleans and removes food debris stuck between your teeth which reduces the amount of bacteria and plaque in your mouth.  Plaque is a sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contributes to cavities, gum disease and bad breath.   Although most people brush their teeth daily, many do not floss regularly.  Flossing should be done once daily at a time of day that best fits into your schedule so that you are more likely to comply. 

Of course, it isn’t enough to simply floss, it’s important to floss correctly.  Improper flossing can damage your gums, so follow these simple steps for the best way to floss. 
  1. Start with approximately 18 inches of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around both of your middle fingers.  Leave about 2 inches of floss for your teeth. 
  2. Hold the floss tightly with your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Work the floss in between two teeth. Wrap the floss in a C-shape along the side of each individual tooth and gently move slowly under the gum line until you feel resistance.   Carefully move the floss upward and continue along the sides of all teeth. 
  4. Do not move the floss straight up and down as this will cause damage and inflammation of the gums. When you first begin flossing, your gums may be tender or bleeding slightly.  If this is persistent you can call our office for advice.