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Brushing 101
Rheumatic Heart Disease

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Brushing 101
Taking care of those pearly whites with proper brushing is the first step in good oral health. The Kochman Centre offers these essential brushing tips:

Use the Right Toothbrush: A soft toothbrush is best because it’s gentle on the teeth and gums. Make sure that the size, grip and shape are comfortable and that it reaches the entire surface of all your teeth. For people with arthritis or other conditions that inhibit movement, an electric or sonic toothbrush is an effective and easy-to-use alternative.

Take Your Time: It may seem like a long time, but a good brushing takes 2 to 3 minutes – one minute for the top teeth, one minute for the bottom. The Kochman Centre recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice daily – when you wake up and before you sleep, and ideally after each meal.

Use a Good Technique: You should always brush toward the end of the tooth and away from the gumline. Dr. Kochman does not recommend brushing from side to side, as it can cause damage to the gums. Using tepid water for brushing and rinsing is also better for the teeth and gums. Brushing your tongue is also important in preventing bad breath. For people that find it uncomfortable to brush their tongues, Dr. Kochman recommends using a tongue scraper.

Floss: Flossing reaches areas and removes plaque that your toothbrush cannot. The Kochman Centre recommends that you floss daily. Dr. Kochman also knows that many people have trouble flossing, or simply don’t like it – there are alternatives. Your dentist can show you how to floss correctly or you can use a Waterpik or gum stimulator to remove plaque from between the teeth.

Give Yourself a Massage: Not only is massage great for your body, it’s great for your gums. The Kochman Centre advises that you use your index finger to gently massage your gums in a circular motion. This increases blood flow to the gum tissue and promotes healthy gums and teeth.

Make a Change: Dr. Kochman recommends that you change your toothbrush every 3 months. A new toothbrush is shown to be more effective in removing plaque. If you’ve had a recent illness, Dr. Kochman advises that you change your toothbrush in order to prevent re-infection.

There are many steps to good oral health. Regular brushing and flossing, combined with routine checkups are great ways to maintain a healthy mouth.


Rheumatic Heart Disease
If you have had rheumatic heart disease or if you have a heart murmur or artificial joint, we need to know!

During dental treatment, including cleanings, bacteria from your mouth may get into your bloodstream, where they can cause infections on the valves of your heart or around artificial joints. To eliminate risk to your health, you may need preventive antibiotics. The Heart Association recommends amoxicillin one hour before treatment and six hours after the initial dose. In case of allergies to amoxicillin, the heart association suggests alternative antibiotics such as erythromycin.

We follow the Heart Association guidelines, but we advise you to discuss your special needs with your physician. And each time you come in, tell us of any changes in your condition or treatment so that we can update your medical history.