How To Properly Brush and Floss
Oral hygiene is dependent upon brushing and flossing. It is essential to perform proper home care and regular dental cleanings as they both aid in removing and preventing plaque, tartar, and debris. In addition, regular brushing and flossing lead to a healthier mouth and brighter smile.
Brushing and flossing are keys to:
- Preventing tooth decay- tooth decay often leads to tooth loss and its treatment is complex and time-consuming. When plaque acids corrode the enamel of teeth tooth decay happens. Regular brushing and flossing can help in prevention.
- Preventing gum disease – Gum disease is a condition that can cause serious tooth, gum, and jawbone loss. Gum disease or periodontal disease is the result of untreated plaque toxins. Gum disease can also prompt more serious conditions in other areas of the body. Brushing and flossing work to remove plaque and tartar and overall minimize the risk of gum disease.
- Prevention of bad breath – Bad breath or halitosis is the result of leftover food debris in between or on teeth. Brushing and flossing gently removes these food particles promoting a fresher, cleaner, and a healthier mouth.
- Preventing stains- staining or discoloring of teeth can be the consequence of smoking, coffee, and tea. Regularly removing these stains with brushing and flossing can reduce the risk of permanent staining.
The Proper Brushing Technique
It is recommended to brush twice daily, preferable when waking and at night. Choose a small toothbrush that has soft, rounded bristles. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. A smaller toothbrush conveniently fits in the tight areas of the mouth allowing each area to be reached and properly cleaned. Soft brushes are gentler on the teeth and reduce damage to the gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) approve and promote electric toothbrushes. Due to their rotating heads, electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes.
Proper Brushing Step-by-Step:
- Place the toothbrush on the gum line at a 45-degree angle.
- In small round motions, smoothly brush the teeth and gums along the gum line.
- Refrain from applying too much pressure to reduce gum and enamel damage.
- Brush all sides and surfaces of the tooth, inside, outside, and top.
- Brush the tongue to eliminate bacteria, food, and other remains.
The Proper Flossing Technique
Flossing is the best method to remove plaque and bacteria between teeth. It is crucial in suppressing gum disease and tightens gum pockets. It is suggested to floss daily. Choose floss that is the most comfortable to use. The taste and type of floss are insignificant.
Proper Flossing Step-by-Step
- Measure and cut an 18-inch piece of floss.
- Wind an end of the floss around the forefinger and repeat for the other hand. Ensure the floss is taut between each hand and 2-3 inches apart.
- Maneuver the floss between each tooth.
- Form a U-shape with the floss and curve it around each tooth below the gums.
- Rub the floss up and down between each tooth gently scraping away any plaque, bacteria, or debris.
For questions or concerns regarding how to properly and brush or floss, please get in contact with our dental care team!