If you think brushing and flossing your teeth everyday is important, you are right! In fact, most experts agree that brushing and flossing are the most important components of a comprehensive dental health plan. However, there are proper techniques for both flossing and brushing your teeth. The way you brush and floss can have a large impact on your overall dental health.
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes. Although it does not sound like much, two minutes can seem like a long time when you are brushing your teeth. For most individuals, a soft-bristle toothbrush is the best fit. To properly brush your teeth, you should use short, gentle strokes and avoid dragging the toothbrush roughly across the teeth and gums. When brushing, you should pay close attention to the gumline, back teeth and areas around dental restorations (fillings and crowns). You should also brush your tongue to remove bacteria from the surface.
Multiple studies have shown that flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing in terms of your dental health. Flossing is especially effective in removing bacteria and food particles that get lodged in the spaces between the teeth that are not easily accessible with a toothbrush. Flossing should take place before you brush your teeth. To properly floss, you should measure roughly an arm’s length of floss and wind each end around your middle fingers. Then, grasp one to two inches of the floss with your pointer finger and your thumb. Next, gently glide the floss between each of your teeth in a sawing motion. You should also make a “C” shape with the floss at the gumline. As you move on to each set of teeth, unwind and rewind the floss so you are using a clean section. After you have flossed, you should carefully rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
By flossing and brushing your teeth thoroughly and properly everyday, you can give your teeth the best chance of remaining healthy and lasting for a lifetime. For more information about proper dental hygiene, talk to your dentist today.