Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Do you have a patient that constantly builds up a lot of calculus on the lingual of the lower anteriors? There are several ways to tackle this. First, have the patient start out by inside-out brushing. The majority of patients brush the maxillary buccals first and doing this all the time can cause several things. It can create more recession because the toothpaste is at its most abrasive state and the beginning of brushing is usually done faster and heavier handed. Brushing the lower linguals first can get the abrasive particles in the toothpaste where that patient might need it the most. It also allows them to focus on that area because even if someone brushes that area without missing something, studies have shown that the areas people brush last are usually brushed the least amount of time (seconds). Inside out brushing also works great for people with a lot of recession as they can help avoid the abrasiveness of fresh toothpaste. If a patient is inside-out brushing and still developing a lot of calculus, have them dry brush. Dry brushing was developed by one of my friends, Trisha Oheir, who is now the editor of Hygiene Town magazine. dry brushing will help reduce the thick plaque easier and allows someone to focus more on that area. Toothpaste is not always needed right away, and most of the time it contains strong minty odors and flavors that trick your tongue into thinking you are done brushing because your tongue is burning, is hot or even feels fresh and clean. That is one main reason people stop brushing too soon - because their tongue thinks they are finished! Studies have also shown that dry brushing does not contribute to more recession, too.

Do you have a patient with a lot of recession? In addition to the toothbrushing tips above, another trick that really works is by having the patient hold their toothbrush differently. Most people brush by holding their toothbrush as if they were a 4 year old coloring with crayons. They have the strong grasp that usually leads to strong heavy brushing. Have them change this method by having them hold onto the toothbrush as if it were a pencil. This completely reduces pressure and strength of the brush and will not let them brush too hard.

Check out the other articles under the New Grad section for more tips and tricks!

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