For the past 10 years prior to 811, I have been brushing & flossing twice a day. Now that I am 811, I have increased this to 3 - 4x per day. Proper flossing is as *critical* for good oral hygiene as is proper brushing. How do i know this? My dentist has not had to clean my teeth in the past 9 years and I now only go this him for "cleaning" every 18 months. [ BTW...He never wants to know why I have a perfectly clean mouth with both hard and soft tissues that appear to be that of a healthy young child!]
After my "near miss" with the orthodontist, and one very painful tooth cleaning by a criminally brutal hygienist, here's What I have learned about oral hygiene for anyone looking for a better solution to their current protocol:
BRUSHING: only away from the gums ! Never *against* the gum line. This is *critical* for gum strength and flexibility. ( I almost destroyed my gums 10 years ago with improper brushing :D )
So... on your upper teeth... only brush *down*.... ( yes this is a pain in the ass to get used to but much better than spending $thousands$ at the orthodontist...) and on your lower teeth...only brush *up*. It gets more difficult in the backs of the teeth which are more difficult to access.
FLOSSING: you must get your gums used to what I call "extreme flossing"... over time, I built my ability to floss very aggressively,with no fear of provoking any bleeding, however this does not mean that I am touching the gums aggressively or with any pressure at all! The key is to *only* rub the dental tape against the teeth and to do so as far into the gum-line around the base of the tooth as possible. The movement is *side to side* and you do not need to worry about how aggressive you are flossing, unless you are damaging your soft tissues. You will know this by the pain factor. At times you will even hear the teeth enamel "squeak" while flossing, which means the exposed root portion of the tooth is very very clean;> (success!)
MOUTH WASH: NEVER ! NEVER ! NEVER ! Commercial mouth-washes will destroy your teeth and your gums due to the petrochemicals and other harmful solvent activity. ( Not only that, it is poison & tastes like crap! ) After I floss, I ALWAYS swish with a bit of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide then water. ( always rinse your toothbrush head with peroxide too!!! It is a brutal bacteria magnet! )
TOOTHBRUSH: I had to give up my tough bristle for a soft brush. This instantly helped my gums to heal themselves.
"DR TUNGS": When my gums were in bad shape 10 years ago, I bought an Ayurvedic product called "DR TUNGS" which is a healing oil combination that will heal your gums in short order. It is the only such product that I have ever tried. You rub it into your gums with your finger. Awsome stuff.
TOOTHPASTE: I only use Ayurvedic toothpaste because the indians use many by products from healing plants such as neeme, tulsi and peelu etc etc. A little bit goes a long way! ( NEVER NEVER NEVER use commercial toothpastes with petrochemicals in them ! They all have fluoride, which is known to damage the teeth, gums and your brain anyways. ( There are petrochemicals in these commercial products that we use in the airline business to de-ice airplanes! As an airline pilot, I know how toxic these compounds are... they are certainly NEVER meant to touch the human body ! )
I hope all this gobbeldygook helps someone;> mark