How and Why to Brush and Floss Properly
It doesn’t matter that you go to the Dentist in Florida every 6 months. that’s right; we said it. But what we mean is this: if you don’t have a consistent at home oral hygiene routine then going to the dentist twice a year won’t be enough! You probably know this but still people don’t take oral hygiene seriously enough at home. We don’t want to complicate things. We hope to encourage and inspire an easy, beneficial, no brainer, daily oral regimen.
Two of the primary dental tasks you should be doing daily are brushing and flossing. Doing these two things daily ensures a healthy mouth, a sparkly smile and the prevention of serious diseases. Leave the professional cleanings of removing plaque, tartar and debris to us, but don’t forget to do your part!
Here are a few reasons that you will thank us for encouraging regular brushing and flossing:
- It Prevents Decaying Teeth – One of the main reasons people lose their teeth is from tooth decay. When this happens, often times complicated, sometimes painful dental procedures are needed. A tooth decays when the acids found in plaque erode the natural enamel found on the teeth. But don’t worry, this phenomenon can easily be prevented when you use proper oral hygiene methods at home.
- It Prevents Periodontal Disease – this is a condition that causes teeth to progressively loosen from the sockets while gums recess and jawbones recess. Periodontal disease is from the toxins that come from plaque, and can lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body. That is why it is paramount that you regularly remove plaque and tartar from your tooth with a toothbrush. Also that you remove plaque from the interdental areas with dental floss. These two tasks will exponentially decrease your potential of incurring periodontal problems.
- It Prevents Halitosis – Nobody likes bad breath. Bad breath is called halitosis a problem caused by old food particles left on or in between the teeth for periods of time. Again, regular brushing and flossing will leave a healthier mouth and much better smelling breath.
- It Prevents Staining – Many bad habits cause stained teeth. Some primary teeth staining habits are smoking or drinking tea and coffee without brushing your teeth. If you make a conscious effort to brush your teeth when you have recently drank tea or coffee or smoked, you will remove the staining agents from the tooth before they cause damage.
What’s the Right Way to Brush?
You should attempt to brush your teeth twice a day. The easiest times are in the morning and before bed. But not any toothbrush is sufficient. The ideal toothbrush is small in size with soft, rounded-end bristles. You should never use a toothbrush longer than three months. Make sure the head of the brush is small enough to reach all the areas in your mouth. You want the bristles to be soft enough to protect the gums while brushing.
Electric toothbrushes come highly recommended by The American Dental Association (ADA). They’ve stated that toothbrushes with rotating or oscillating heads are more effective than regular toothbrushes.
Here is a basic guide to proper brushing:
- Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where the gums and teeth meet.
- Use small circular motions to gently brush the gumline and teeth.
- Do not scrub or apply too much pressure to the teeth, as this can damage the gums and tooth enamel.
- Brush every surface of every tooth, cheek-side, tongue-side, and chewing surfaces. Place special emphasis on the surfaces of the back teeth.
- Use back and forth strokes to brush the chewing surfaces.
- Brush the tongue to remove fungi, food and debris.
What’s the Right Way to Floss
The goal of flossing is to remove plaque from the hard to reach crevices between the teeth called interdental regions. As we mentioned earlier, when you floss you prevent periodontal disease. Since it’s hard to reach the spots in between your teeth with a regular toothbrush, food can lodge in their and begin to weaken your gum sockets. You should cleanse the interdental regions daily with dental floss.
Here is how to floss effectively:
- Cut a piece of floss to around 18 inches long.
- Wrap one end of the floss around the middle finger of the left hand and the other end around the middle finger of the right hand until the hands are 2-3 inches apart.
- Work the floss gently between the teeth toward the gum line.
- Curve the floss in a U-shape around each individual tooth and carefully slide it beneath the gum line.
- Carefully move the floss up and down several times to remove interdental plaque and debris.
- Do not pop the floss in and out between the teeth as this will inflame and cut the gums.
Any questions? Contact Us and one of our dental hygienists will be thrilled to assist you. Your healthy smile puts a bigger smile on our face.