ADA-Accepted floss or interdental cleaners are an integral part of your regular oral care. They can help clean bacterial plaque from between your teeth that regular brushing can't reach. I recommend flossing once per day and before brushing your teeth.

ADA-Accepted antimicrobial mouth rinses help prevent and reduce plaque and gingivitis. Rinsing helps remove debris from the mouth. It is not a substitute for brushing or flossing.


ADA-Accepted fluoride mouth rinses provide extra protection against tooth decay over that provided by fluoride toothpaste alone. Consumers should check the manufacturer's label for precautions and age recommendations.


ADA-Accepted oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will not remove plaque from your teeth unless used in conjunction with brushing and flossing.


An ADA-Accepted tongue scraper is also an important part of an oral care routine.


Look for the ADA Seal on all other oral hygiene products.

( Charters WJ: Eliminating mouth infections with the toothbrush and other stimulating instruments. Dent Digest 1932;38:130 )


This technique is recommended for cleaning in areas of healing wounds after periodontal surgery. Place the brush on the teeth with the bristles pointed to the crown at a 45 degree angle to the long axis of the teeth. The bristles are pressed against the sides of the teeth and gum tissue. Circular and back and forth motions are used.


The brush position on the occlusal surfaces of the teeth is used with any technique.

Charter's Method-

( Stillman P. A philosophy of treatment of periodontal disease. Dent Digest 1932;38:314-319 )


This technique is used if one has progressing gingival recession and root exposure in order to prevent abrasive tissue destruction. The sides rather than the ends of the bristles are used and penetration of the gingival sulcus is avoided. Move the brush with short back and forth strokes in a coronal direction ( towards the biting surface of the tooth ).


Modified Stillman Method-

 (Bass C. The optimum characteristics of toothbrushes for personal oral hygiene. Dent Items Interest 1948;70:696. )


Below is a brushing technique which can be recommended for any patient with or without periodontal disease. Proper position of the toothbrush in this technique places the bristles so that they are angled 45 degrees from the tooth surface.The ends of the bristles are forced into the gingical sulcus ( an area of potential space between a tooth and the surrounding gum tissue ) and interproximal embrasures ( spaces between the teeth ). Short back and forth motions are used without dislodging the tips of the bristles. A modification of this technique would be to also sweep the bristles toward the occlusal ( top ) surface.


Bass Method/ Modified Bass-

Good at-home oral hygiene is recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology.


Certain toothpastes, toothbrushes, and floss are well-known products in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program. Look for the ADA Seal - your assurance that the product has been objectively evaluated for safety and effectiveness by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.


The sequence in which you brush, floss and rinse makes no difference as long as you do a thorough job and use quality products.


ADA-Accepted fluoride toothpastes help prevent and reduce plaque and gingivitis ( inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of plaque along the gum line ) as well as cavities. I recommend brushing two or three times a day.


An ADA-Accepted soft bristled toothbrush allows you to reach every surface of each tooth. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. If the bristles on your toothbrush are bent or frayed, buy a new one. A worn-out brush will not clean your teeth properly.


It is also important to use proper brushing techniques.

( See Illustrations Below ).

Oral Hygeine

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Thomas C Kelley, DDS, MSD, LLC

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