Brushing and Flossing
A healthy smile begins at home, and it only takes a few minutes per day to ensure your teeth will last a lifetime.
Many kinds of bacteria live in your mouth. These germs collect on your teeth and gums and quickly form a sticky film called plaque. Plaque is the major cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Since plaque is always forming, it needs to be removed every day. Brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing breaks up plaque between your teeth and under your gums.
How do I brush correctly?
1. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush the outer surfaces of your teeth, using either a circular or back-and-forth motion.
2. Brush the inner surfaces of the back teeth using the same motion.
3. Turn the brush and use the tip to clean the inner surfaces of the upper and lower teeth.
4. Clean the chewing surfaces using a scrubbing motion.
5. Finally, brush your tongue, and rinse well.
Electric toothbrushes are a great tool to help prevent cavities. The fact is that, when used correctly, they are actually more effective. We recommend SoniCare, Oral B, and Braun. If you don’t have an electric toothbrush, be certain to use a toothbrush with a soft bristle that is ADA approved. Get into the habit of replacing your toothbrush every 2-3 months.
How do I floss correctly?
1. Wrap 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers. Secure it with your index fingers and thumbs.
2. Curve the floss into a C-shape and guide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance.
3. Gently scrape the floss up and down against the side of the tooth. Do NOT saw with the floss. Repeat these steps on each tooth. Don’t forget the backs of the last teeth in each corner of the mouth.
4. If you have a bridge or wear braces, use a floss threader to get the floss under the bridge or the wires.