Oral Hygiene: How to Properly Brush & Floss Your Teeth

The best prevention of plaque and gum disease happens at home. Your best line of defense is to take care of your teeth and gums daily. By brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing you are helping to remove plaque, which in turn helps prevent cavities. Plaque is the very thin layer of bacteria that coats your teeth and by letting the plague build up it creates tartar which is harder to remove and more damaging to your teeth and gums.

Brushing your teeth 2 – 4 times a day for two minutes at a time is the recommended practice as explained by dentists. Usually the best method of this is once when you wake up in the morning (get rid of that sleepy breath!) and once before you go to bed. Preferably, brushing your teeth after every time you eat, helps ensure the most removal of food particles and plaque.

The proper way to brush your teeth include:
• Take your toothbrush and apply a thin strip of toothpaste along the bristles. Toothpaste that contains fluoride will help build strength in your teeth and reduce decay.
• Place your brush against your gum line, at a slightly tilted angle, gently sweep the bristles against the surface of your teeth and gums in short strokes. Remember, brushing too hard can cause receding gums and tooth sensitivity.
• By using that same method continue to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the chewing surfaces. Make sure to tip the bristles into the crevices ensuring the removal of all plaque.
• Don’t overlook brushing your tongue! With a forward stroke, gently graze your brush over your tongue and roof of your mouth to remove decay-causing bacteria. This also helps to prevent bad breath.
• Make sure that you are brushing for at least 2 minutes. Many suggest that using an egg timer or listening to your favorite song, will help you get used to brushing for that length. With the popularity of electric toothbrushes many now come with timers that stop brushing after the 2 minutes are up.

Although brushing is important, it isn’t the only thing that will remove plaque. In fact many food particles and plaque stow away between your teeth and under your gum line. This is where flossing comes into play. By doing this at least once a day, you ensure that you are removing as much plaque as possible inside your mouth. Although there are different types of floss to choose from, dentists will typically recommend unwaxed floss. This is because unwaxed floss is thinner and will move smoothly between teeth.

When using floss, always be careful so as to avoid injuring your gums. By carefully guiding the floss in between 2 teeth, use a back and forth motion, moving from top to gum lime. Don’t force the floss under the gums! As you curve the floss around your tooth, creating a “C” shape, slide the floss up and down each side of the tooth. Continue this practice with all your teeth.

For more care and tips on oral hygiene, make an appointment with Pediatric Dentistry of Juniper, one of the most comprehensive and passionate Pediatric Dentist of Juniper FL.
By properly caring for your teeth, you can help ensure their health for a long time

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