Dr. Chris Forte, DDS
A Great Dentist

Oral Hygiene Tips

Oral hygiene is a key component when it comes to having attractive, healthy looking teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing regularly and effectively keeps your teeth clean, free from stains, plaque and tartar build up, helps keep the gums in good condition and reduces your risk for dental decay and gum disease.

 What surprises me is the number of people we see at our dental practice in Brookfield,IL that are unaware of how to best care for their teeth and gums and have never been shown how to brush or floss correctly and efficiently. Simply brushing carefully for a full timed 2 minutes can make massive improvements in your gum health.

Removing plaque or bacteria build up and food debris from the teeth by brushing alone is not the only key to preventing dental disease but is one part of the bigger picture. Without a doubt though if you don't brush your teeth it won't be long until they look dirty as food debris, staining, plaque and eventually tartar builds up making your teeth look yellow and grubby and it sure won't help you have sweet smelling breath.

Prevention is much better than cure or management of a condition and when it comes to prevention focusing on oral hygiene is a must. After all what’s the point of having perfect straight white teeth if your gum health is so bad that eventually you will end up loosing your teeth so that the only pearly whites you will have will be the sort you take out at night or will be held in on dental implants.

Brushing and flossing are crucial if you want to maintain healthy gums.


 When it comes to brushing there are some basic rules or guidelines that you should follow like:

  • Brush for 2 minutes
  • Brush twice a day
  • Use a good toothpaste
  • Clean all you teeth - don't forget the back ones
  • Brush your gums as well as your teeth
  • Brush after breakfast and before bed
  • Don’t brush too hard
  • Change your toothbrush regularly every 3 months

 Yet the statistics show that most people only brush once a day and when they do, they brush too hard and not for long enough. The average time spent moving the toothbrush over the teeth is approximately 20 seconds. 20 seconds of brushing is not enough time to remove plaque from your teeth.

Plaque is a sticky substance made up of bacteria and food particles that needs to be brushed over several times before it detaches from the tooth surface. Any plaque that you don't remove effectively will start to solidify from the minerals in your saliva creating a hard layer that is firmly adhered to your teeth called tartar or calculus. This is the stuff that your dentist or hygienist, need to remove for you when they perform a professional dental clean or scaling.

Plaque and tartar are implicated in both tooth decay and gum disease.

If you want to reduce your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and other oral health issues then regular professional dental cleans are a must. Regular visits with our dental hygienist will help you to have a great looking healthy smile.

 "We believe by helping you to care for your teeth and gums not only can you keep your teeth for life you can also live a healthy life."