Think you know everything about brushing and flossing techniques? Some things may surprise you…
Oral health starts with clean teeth. Keeping the area where your teeth meet your gums clean can prevent gum disease and prevent cavities!
Consider these brushing basics:
1) Brush your teeth twice a day. Don’t rush! Your mouth is broken into four areas: upper left, lower left, upper right, lower right. So, each “quadrant” needs 30 seconds of cleaning, equaling 2 minutes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too!
2) Are you using proper equipment? Use a fluoride-based toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Seriously consider using an electric toothbrush which reduces plaque better than a manual toothbrush. Consider the fact that an electric toothbrush also helps if you have gingivitis. Have arthritis? All the more reason to consider an electric toothbrush!
3) Angle, angle, angle! Are you holding your brush at a slight angle? Aim the bristles toward the area where the tooth meets the gum line. Gently use circular motions to move back and forth. Too hard is too hard on your gums! Again, be gentle!
4) Keep your brush clean. Together with rinsing your brush and keeping it upright, change out your brush (or brush head) every three months.
Flossing, it’s more than once-a-six month date with your hygienist!
Bacteria lurks between your teeth in the tight spaces that your brush cannot reach. That’s why daily flossing is so important. Consider these flossing basics:
1) Use plenty of floss. 18 inches is not too much! It is actually just right! Wind the floss around the middle fingers of both hands. Grip between the thumb and forefingers to move around.
2) Guide the floss in a rubbing motion, don’t snap. When the floss reaches your gum line, make a C shape and curve it against the tooth.
3) Don’t skimp and only do the front teeth! Remember to take one tooth at a time.
Brush or floss first…it doesn’t matter! Just be sure to do both!
Just a couple other points before we floss away…
If you are smoking, try to quit. Using tobacco stains your teeth and can cause tooth loss and gum disease. Next, avoid using toothpicks or other objects that can injure your gums.