From the Hygienist at Belleville Dentistry

Healthy Gums

Healthy gums are described as pink or a coral pink colour, tissue is firm and resilient, the shape of the gum follows the contour of the tooth , there are no areas of redness or swelling, there is no discomfort and there no bleeding when brushing or flossing. Healthy gums are achieved with daily plaque removal including brushing twice a day and flossing once a day .

Gum Disease


Gingivitis is when there is inflammation of the gum tissue. At this stage of gum disease there is no bone loss. Plaque and tartar irritate the gums and cause them to be swollen. The gums may also be sore, bleed easily and appear puffy and soft. The most common sign of gingivitis is blood on the toothbrush or floss. It is preventable and reversible with a good brushing and flossing technique. However, this gum disease can progress into periodontitis if oral hygiene is poor.

Periodontal disease

This type of gum disease is when there is destruction of the bone and the structures supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease is irreversible, however, you can stop the progression with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

The following are eight signs of periodontal disease.
• gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
• gums that are red, swollen or tender
• gums that have pulled away from teeth
• infection including purulence(pus) between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed
• permanent teeth that are loose or separating
• any changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
• any changes in the fit of your partial denture
• bad breath
• itchy sensation


Brushing is the most effective way to remove plaque and debris from the outer side, the tongue side and the chewing side of your teeth. It should be done twice a day for 2 minutes each time to effectively remove the plaque and food debris from the teeth. There are many different types of toothbrushes available. It is important to select a soft or extra soft toothbrush to prevent wear on the gum or the teeth. Once the bristle start to spread it is time to replace your toothbrush.

There are also many types of electric toothbrushes available. The most effective electric toothbrushes are either Oral-B or Sonicare. Oral-B has a small toothbrush head and you can purchase different heads to make it easier to clean your entire mouth with one brush. It uses an oscillating-rotating motion. Sonicare uses high frequency bristle motion to create a dynamic fluid action which helps remove plaque more effectively and disrupt the formation of plaque.


Dental floss is the most effective way to remove plaque and debris between the teeth. Floss comes in a variety of colours, flavours and materials. Waxed floss can be easier to use if your teeth have tight contacts. If you have wider contacts a tufted floss such as Super floss would be recommended. Flossing should be done daily. There are also many flossing aids available to help reduce frustration when it comes to flossing.

Humming Bird: the tip is disposable and the handle is reusable, vibrates
Floss Holder: Uses your own floss.
EZFloss: Disposable, comes with a piece of floss
Reach Access: The tip is disposable and the handle is reusable.
Floss Threaders: Loop your own floss, easier flossing for braces and bridges.

End Tuft Brush

This type of brush can be used to clean the gum line or wider spaces between teeth. It can also be used to clean around braces implants, crowns and bridges. This tool looks like a miniature tooth brush. To use simply trace the gum by using a light yet firm pressure.

Proxy Brush

The Proxy Brush is a single ended brush which helps remove plaque and debris from between the teeth, braces, implants crowns and bridges. This brush can look like a Christmas tree or look like a small bottle brush. To use wet the brush and place between teeth at the gum turn the brush in clockwise/counter clockwise motion several times between each tooth. Clean the brush under running water while you are using it to remove plaque and food. Once the brush starts to look like it loosing it’s shape or worn replace the tip.

Tongue Scraper

Tongue Scrapers are used to remove plaque from the tongue. This will help to have an overall clean mouth, reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth and help reduce bad breath. They can be made from plastic or flexible metal. To use simply place the tool as far back on the tongue as possible, press and use a firm but light stroke.

Mouth rinse

When used twice a day for 30 seconds each time mouth rinse is an effective way to help reduce bacteria and debris form the mouth. Mouth rinse however, does not replace brushing and flossing.

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