If you’re like most people, you probably brush your teeth every day without even thinking about it. But do you know how to brush and floss your teeth properly? It’s important to brush and floss daily to keep your teeth healthy and free from plaque and bacteria that could cause gum disease.
Why is it important to brush and floss teeth daily?
Gum disease is a serious dental issue that can lead to tooth loss, and the sooner you get treatment for it—like brushing and flossing after every meal—the less likely your teeth will be affected by this condition.
Maintaining good dental care and oral hygiene practices, including brushing twice a day with an abrasive cleaning agent, can prevent future outbreaks of plaque buildup and gum disease. However, if left untreated or you don’t brush your teeth daily, the early stages of gum disease may progress into advanced stages requiring more extensive work. So, the moral of the story is preventative measures are essential. Brush and floss your teeth daily!
Importance of Brushing
To prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath, brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Brushing removes plaque, that when built up, can make your teeth sensitive and painful.
Importance of Flossing
Periodontal disease is a serious dental issue that can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Taking preventive measures, like flossing or brushing after every meal, will make it less likely that your teeth will be affected by this condition. Flossing is your best line of defense against periodontal disease.
Many people think of their dental routine and only consider brushing, but flossing is equally important. Dental floss cleans areas that your toothbrush cannot reach. It can fit into small gaps and space between teeth to remove debris from food, sugars, and acids from drinks.
How to Brush Your Teeth
When it comes to brushing, you need to ensure you have the proper equipment. Ensure you have a small enough brush that can easily maneuver around the inside, outside, and tops of each tooth, along with fluoride toothpaste. If you choose a manual toothbrush, pick one with soft bristles to prevent gum irritation. Brushing should take at least two full minutes, so consider choosing a simple song to hum in your head while you brush.
- Apply your fluoride toothpaste and gently press your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle on the inside of your mouth. Start with the bottom teeth and the area closest to your check and brush back and forth, making small circular motions along your gum line. Make this continuous motion across your bottom row of teeth until you reach the other side.
- Once you’ve reached the opposite side of your mouth, tilt your toothbrush bristles, so they are resting against your tooth and gum, and repeat the process above back and forth until you’ve hit each tooth.
- Next, brush the highest surface of your teeth from one side of your mouth to the other.
- Repeat this process on the top and bottom of your mouth until you’ve covered both sets of teeth. Don’t forget to brush the roof of your mouth and tongue. These areas are prone to harboring bacteria.
- Spit out the toothpaste. Try not to completely rinse it out with water after brushing so you can keep the fluoride in your mouth, which has a lasting effect on protecting your teeth throughout the day.
Things to Consider When Brushing Your Teeth
- Choose the right toothbrush shape and size. Toothbrushes come in different shapes and sizes, depending on your age. Choose a soft-bristled brush that can easily fit inside your mouth.
- Brush at least twice a day. Your dental care routine should include brushing your teeth twice daily for at least 2 minutes each session.
- Don’t brush too hard. If you have a new toothbrush and your bristles are fraying, you could be brushing too hard. Hard brushing doesn’t remove bacterial plaque but can hurt your teeth and enamel.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months. A worn-out toothbrush can’t properly do its job, so it’s a good practice to replace your brush every three to four months.
- Choose the right toothpaste. There are an overwhelming number of options for picking a toothpaste. Make sure to use one that is accepted by the American Dental Association. This will ensure your toothpaste has the correct amount of fluoride in it.
How to Floss Your Teeth
- You’ll want a piece of floss that is around 18 inches long and easily be wrapped around your fingers.
- Wrap one end of the floss around your left pointer finger and then your right. Keep wrapping until your hands are about 2-3 inches apart.
- Gently work the floss between your teeth towards the gum line.
- Create a U-shape with the floss around each tooth and slide the floss beneath the gum line to get any hidden debris.
- Gently move the floss up and down against the tooth and gum line to remove plaque or pesky food and sugar debris.
- Do your best not to floss too hard. This can cause gum irritation and sometimes bleeding.
What about mouthwash?
Mouthwash can be incorporated into your current oral hygiene routine. It is great for helping prevent cavities. Don’t use it immediately after brushing your teeth, as it can wash away the fluoride effect of your toothpaste.
Don’t Forget Regular Dental Check-Ups
As always, seeing your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to prevent dental disease and maintain good oral health. Your dentist can remove plaque and incorporate brushing and flossing during your dental care visit. If you’re looking for a dentist to optimize your dental health, visit the professionals at PK Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. Dr. Partovie and Dr. Kianpour are here to keep your oral health at its best and, help prevent issues such as bad breath, tooth decay, and teach proper brushing techniques. Give our office a call and make us a part of your dental care routine.