The Proper Way to Brush
Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day; ideally in the morning and before bed. The perfect toothbrush is small in size with soft, rounded-end bristles and no more than three months old. The head of the brush needs to be small enough to access all areas of the mouth, and the bristles should be soft enough so as not to cause undue damage to the gum tissue.
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.
The Proper Way to Floss
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building-up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth and bone. The interdental regions (areas between the teeth) are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and should be cleansed with dental floss on a daily basis. The flavor and type of floss are unimportant; choose floss that will be easy and pleasant to use.
Here is a basic guide to proper flossing:
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.
It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it's a good idea to consult with your dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
Using other dental aids as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist, such as: interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.
If you have any questions about dental home care, please contact us.
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