Do you know if your daily oral hygiene routine is really doing the job? Brushing and flossing might seem simple, but using the proper techniques makes all the difference in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. As your local family dentistry, we want to see your smile last a lifetime. Follow these 5 tips to master the art of brushing and flossing.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Those hard, medium bristled toothbrushes might seem like they clean better, but they can damage tooth enamel and irritate gums. Choose a soft-bristled brush that is gentle enough to sweep away plaque without abrasion. Replace it every 3-4 months when the bristles look frayed. An electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and timer can also help prevent overzealous brushing.
Brush at a 45-Degree Angle
Many people brush horizontally across their teeth, but this doesn’t adequately remove plaque from the gumline and other crevices. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle aimed towards your gums. Gently move the brush in short strokes along the tooth surface and gums. This plaquesweep method is the most effective way to clean all areas.
Brush All Surfaces of Your Teeth
While you might focus most of your attention on the front surfaces of your teeth, brushing all areas is vital. Don’t forget to thoroughly brush your upper and lower teeth’ inner, outer, and chewing surfaces. Lingering plaque on any overlooked areas can still cause cavities and decay.
Take Your Time
Rushing through your brushing won’t get your teeth clean. Aim to brush all of your teeth for at least two minutes, twice per day. Break your mouth into quadrants and spend roughly 30 seconds carefully brushing each section. Singing “Happy Birthday” twice through is an easy way to ensure you hit the 2-minute mark.
Floss at Least Once Daily
Flossing is just as essential as brushing, as it removes debris and plaque between teeth that your brush simply can’t reach. Take your time working the floss down the side of each tooth until it reaches your gum line. Use a clean section of floss as you move between teeth. For the best protection, floss at least once daily.
Being diligent with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing prevents plaque buildup and cavities. Contact our office if you need help correcting any oral hygiene mistakes. We’re here to help your family achieve excellent dental health.