We know, we know. You’ve been brushing your teeth your entire life, and you can do it with your eyes closed, literally. But it’s time to wake up and ask yourself, “Have I been flossing and brushing correctly?” Or is there are a better way?
Following are a few flossing and toothbrushing tips you may want to consider.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, preferably first thing in the morning and then again before bedtime.
- Buy a toothbrush that is comfortable to hold, can be easily maneuvered within your mouth, and that reaches every surface of every tooth.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if necessary.
- While brushing your teeth, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth.
- Brush all surfaces of the teeth: outside, inside, and chewing surfaces.
- As you’re brushing, move the toothbrush back and forth in short strokes. You may use a circular motion if you prefer.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue, which holds bacteria just like your teeth do.
- Most dentists agree that a soft-thistle toothbrush is best.
- An electric toothbrush may help clean your teeth better, but select an electric brush with a small head and that you can maneuver easily. When you use an electric toothbrush, trust it to do the brushing. If you make the strokes as well, you could wear away your enamel.
- Floss your teeth once a day.
- Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wind some of the floss around one middle finger and most of the rest around the other middle finger. Leave 2 inches of floss in between to work with.
- Holding the available floss between your index fingers and thumbs, gently glide the floss between your teeth. Use a C-motion to hug each tooth with the floss starting at the gumline, and move the floss up the tooth. Be gentle to avoid cutting your gums with the floss.
- Loosen an inch or so of fresh floss to use between every tooth.
The most important step is to start with a professional dental cleaning. Our hygienists can thoroughly explain and demonstrate proper flossing and toothbrushing tips to you. If you’re due for an annual cleaning and dental exam, call us to make an appointment today.