Oral Hygiene Instructions

Oral hygiene instructions include regular brushing, flossing and routine dental visits to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. A good diet and avoidance of unhealthy habits like smoking, can also improve oral health.


The best preventative measures start at home, and include a consistent oral hygiene routine, fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinse. Limiting sugary drinks and snacks can also improve teeth and gums.

Floss Daily

Flossing removes food particles and bacteria from areas that brushing can’t reach. It also helps prevent gum disease and bad breath. Ideally, you should floss at least once a day, usually before bed. Flossing should be done on both sides of your mouth.

Many people find that they don’t have time to floss, but it is very important not to skip this step. If you’re finding it difficult to fit flossing into your daily routine, consider setting aside a specific time to do it. That way, you’ll be less likely to forget. It’s also important to teach your children to floss, and they should start as soon as they have two teeth that touch. A Spokane prosthodontist says that it’s better to get them used to flossing at a young age so they don’t develop dental problems later in life.

To floss correctly, cut about 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around the middle fingers of both hands. Hold the floss lightly between your thumbs and forefingers, using a gentle, rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape and gently slip it under one tooth’s gum. Use the floss to clean both surfaces of the tooth, then move on to the next tooth. Once you’ve finished, throw away the used floss.

Get Regular Checkups

Proper oral hygiene is preventative care, which means it helps you keep teeth and gums healthy and free of problems like cavities, gum disease, bad breath (halitosis) and more. In addition to brushing and flossing, it’s also important to get regular dental checkups for X-rays, cleanings and exams. In between visits, it’s helpful to perform self-exams of your mouth so you can catch any problems early on. You can find more information on oral health and hygiene at the National Institutes of Health.

Schedule an Appointment

Whether you need teeth whitening, dental fillings or a simple cleaning, scheduling an appointment with an oral hygiene professional is the first step to healthy teeth. You can find one on the Department’s public register. Only regulated health professionals can perform oral hygiene services. The minimum requirement for a dental hygienist is a high school diploma or equivalent and completion of a Department-registered dental hygiene licensure program. They can be found in private practices, clinics, community health agencies and in hospitals and extended care facilities.