CDM ASDA was recently asked to take part in a monthly greenmarket event at 175th and Broadway in which current dental students provide oral health instruction to members of the Washington Heights community. We were thrilled to be offered this opportunity to not only practice oral health instruction and communication with patients, but also to begin to get to know the patients that we will be seeing in clinic.
Quick OHI guide:
When speaking with people looking to learn proper hygiene techniques, make sure to ask what their current regimen is.
Ask open ended questions!
How many times a day should you brush your teeth? For how long? 2 times/day for 2 minutes each time
Should you use hard, medium or soft bristles? Unless otherwise directed, they should be told to use soft bristled toothbrushes
How often should you replace your toothbrush? Every three months!
Do you floss?
How many times a day should you floss? At least once a day
How much floss should you use? About the length of your forearm!
When is the most important time to brush/floss? It is most important to brush/floss at night before you go to sleep not only to clean your teeth of all the food and bacteria that could be there, but also because you produce less saliva at night, and you don’t want to let the bacteria win!
If the person is willing, ask them to show you how the brush and floss.
When brushing, make sure that they hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gumline and that they are brushing in a circular sweeping motion.
Make sure they know to brush all of the surfaces of the teeth. And don’t forget to brush the tongue!
When flossing, make sure they only put the floss between two teeth! Sometimes kids get excited and try to floss 3 or 4 teeth at once.
Using the floss, hug the tooth making a “C” shape. Pull against the tooth you are flossing and move the floss up and down. Repeat! Make sure to use a different are of the floss on the next tooth.