How to Brush And Floss Your Teeth

Brushing and flossing are a very important part of oral hygiene. Even though bi- annual professional dental cleanings remove tartar, plaque, and debris, proper home care methods are very important. Brushing and flossing properly can enhance the health of your mouth and make your smile sparkle preventing serious diseases.

Reasons why proper flossing and brushing of teeth is very important:

Preparing for the DentistThey prevent tooth decay- Tooth decay is one of the major causes of tooth loss. Its treatment needs complex dental procedures. It is caused by acids found in plaque. The acids erode the natural enamel found on the tooth. You can prevent this by practicing proper oral hygiene methods.

Prevention of periodontal disease – Periodontal disease is a progressive and serious condition which can lead to jawbone recession, tooth loss and gum recession. Periodontal disease is caused by the toxins found in plaque and can lead to serious health problems in other parts of your body.

Removing calculus or tartar and plaque from the interdental areas using dental floss and from the surface of your teeth by brushing. This will help stave off periodontal problems.

Prevention of halitosis- Halitosis or bad breath is caused by old food particles on the teeth or between your teeth. The food particles can be removed wit regular flossing and brushing. This leaves the mouth healthier and your breath fresher.

Prevention of staining – Staining or yellowing of teeth is caused by very many factors including coffee, tea, and smoking. The more regularly the staining agents are removed from your teeth using flossing and brushing techniques, the less likely it is that the stains will become permanent.

The Proper Way to Brush

You should brush your teeth twice a day that is; in the morning and before you go to bed. The best toothbrush is small in size, no more than three months old, and with soft, rounded ended bristles. The head of your brush should be small in order to help it access all the areas of your mouth. The bristles should be soft to avoid causing too much damage to your gum tissue.

The American Dental Association approved the use of electric toothbrushes stating that those with oscillating or rotating heads are more effective than other toothbrushes.

  • Here is a basic guide to help you brush properly:
  • Put your toothbrush at a 45 degree where the gums and teeth meet.
  • Use small circular motions to brush the gum line and teeth in a gentle manner.
  • Do not scrub or use too much pressure to your teeth as this can damage the tooth enamel and gums.
  • Brush every surface of each and every tooth, tongue side, cheek side and chewing side. Place special emphasis on the surface of the back teeth.
  • To brush the chewing surfaces, use back and forth strokes.
  • To remove debris, food and fungi, brush your tongue.

The Proper Way to Floss

Flossing is the best method used to remove plaque from regions between your teeth. Flossing is very important as it prevents periodontal disease and limits gum pockets depth. It is very difficult to reach the interdental regions with a toothbrush.

This is what makes dental floss very important as it can reach where the toothbrush cannot reach. The type and flavor of floss are not important. Choose a dental floss that is easy and pleasant to use.

  • Here is a basic guide on how to floss properly:
  • Cut a piece of floss to around 18 inches long.
  • Cover one end of the floss around your middle finger of your left hand and the other around the middle finger of your right hand until your hands are 2-3 inches apart.
  • Place the floss gently between the teeth towards your gum line.
  • Fold the floss into a U-shape around all the teeth and slide it carefully beneath your gum line.
  • To remove interdental debris and plaque, move the floss up and down many times.

You have to avoid popping the floss in and out between your teeth as it may inflame and cut the gums. If you have any questions on how to brush or floss, ask your dentist