How to Properly Brush & Floss

Brushing your teeth and flossing are of course going to be some of the most important aspects of oral health just in general. Even though when you come to our office for your bi-annual visits we will clean your teeth and gums very well, it is equally important to make sure that you are taking really good care of your teeth at home in between your visits with us. When you brush your teeth and floss properly you cannot only allow your smile to really get brighter and more beautiful, but you can also help prevent some serious dental diseases.

Here are some of the main reasons why brushing your teeth and flossing are so essential to your dental health:

  • Prevention of tooth decay — Tooth decay just so happens to be one of the main causes of why people lose their teeth forever, and a lot of times treating tooth decay can not only be expensive but can entail rather complex dental procedures. What happens when your teeth decay is the acids that are generally found in plaque begin to erode the enamel level of teeth, which causes the teeth to look broken down, and well, decayed. The crazy part about tooth decay is that it’s really horrible phenomenon that happens more often than most people think and it can easily be prevented through proper home dental hygiene procedures.
  • Prevention of periodontal disease — periodontal disease is a very serious dental issue that progressively happens over a long period of dental neglect and can lead to tooth loss, gum recession and even jawbone and TMJ recession. Periodontal disease is caused by many of the toxins that are also found in general in plaque, and this can also lead to a whole number of different problems that can root up in many other parts of the body. Removing plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces and just being responsible by flossing every day can help prevent all forms of periodontal diseases.
  • Prevention of halitosis — halitosis is a fancy word for bad breath, and usually bad breath is something that is caused by old food particles staying on your tongue or in your gums in between your teeth. By brushing and flossing regularly you can of course leave your mouth in a better place and prevent bad breath.
  • Prevention of staining — Staining, otherwise known as teeth yellowing, can be caused by a whole variety of things like smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and drinking tea and other drinks that stain teeth. The more you brush, especially after drinking or smoking, the more likely you can prevent these stains from being permanent.

The Proper Way to Brush

Your teeth should always be brushed twice a day, and this should ideally be done when you wake up in the morning or after eating breakfast and just before you go to sleep at night. You should definitely keep in mind that you should replace your brushes just about every three months and that you should be using toothbrushes with soft bristles so you aren’t causing any unnecessary damage to your gum tissues. Electronic toothbrushes are definitely a lot better to use than any other toothbrushes and this statement has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Here is the very basic guide to making sure you are properly brushing your teeth:

  1. First place your toothbrush where your gums and teeth meet at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Make sure to use small circular motions while gently brushing the gum line and teeth at the same time.
  3. Make sure to not apply too much pressure to your teeth because this could potentially cause some unnecessary damage to your gums and enamel.
  4. Make sure to brush every surface of every tooth on every side of the tooth as well. Also you should place an extra emphasis on brushing the back of your teeth.
  5. Back and forth strokes work best while brushing out the chewing surfaces of your teeth, especially your molar teeth.
  6. Always brush your tongue thoroughly so you can prevent and remove the growth of fungi, debris and bacteria

 The Proper Way to Floss

Flossing is one of the best ways to remove plaque from the regions in between your teeth and flossing can be a really great way to prevent all forms of periodontal disease. The interdental regions of teeth are always going to be difficult to get with a toothbrush, and this is why floss is an essential part of cleaning your teeth on a daily basis.

Here is the very basic guide to making sure that you are properly flossing your teeth:

  1. Cut your piece of floss to somewhere around 18 inches long before you get started.
  2. Wrap the floss around each index finger and wrap the floss up until you have a space of about 2-3 inches separating your fingers with a tout piece of floss ready to put in your mouth.
  3. Use the floss to gently clean out the sides of your teeth towards the gum line.
  4. Curve the floss so that each individual tooth can be cleaned thoroughly.
  5. Move the floss up and down slowly so that you can remove all of the plaque in between your teeth before moving on to the next tooth and doing the same thing.
  6. Be careful to not pop floss too much in between teeth in order to prevent cutting your gums.

If you have questions about the correct ways to brush and floss please give us a call and we would be happy to answer all of your questions.