Although most of us have been brushing and flossing our teeth for years, many times we are not doing it correctly. Did you know that you should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes each day? Most adults don’t even come close to that. Flossing is another part of our oral health regimen that should be monitored well and done on a daily basis for best results. Find out the impact of brushing and flossing teeth correctly and what you can do to improve your daily routine with these tips!
One of the most common oral health habits that each of us has is brushing and flossing our teeth. Brushing and flossing help clean our mouths of bacteria and protect our teeth from cavities. Even though our teeth are the hardest substance in our bodies, their enamel can break down under the daily assault of bacteria and plaque, which makes brushing and flossing a necessity. Brushing and flossing is the most efficient (and easiest) way to remove plaque from our teeth and maintain good oral health. Even though we are all used to brushing and flossing, many times we aren’t doing it correctly. Whether we do a hurried job because we’re running late to work or we’re too tired, most of us miss out on the full benefits of thoroughly cleaning our teeth each day. While some cleaning is better than no cleaning, here are some tips on how to brush and floss correctly to keep our teeth and gums healthy and strong.
First and foremost, to brush our teeth thoroughly we must have the correct toothbrush. When deciding between toothbrushes at the store, make sure to evaluate your specific needs before purchasing. If you need a toothbrush for removing plaque, pick a soft-bristled one. If you need a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach places, consider a toothbrush with a smaller head. Most importantly, your toothbrush should feel comfortable in your hand and mouth, and allow you to clean the surface of each tooth.
As you begin brushing, hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums. Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes while brushing the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth. When cleaning the inside surfaces of the teeth, tilt the toothbrush vertically and brush with several up-and-down strokes to remove any food particles. Be thorough in your cleaning, and take your time. Two minutes each day is the recommended amount of time to be brushing teeth, but most of us fall short of that. This may seem like a long time, but it is an important part of your routine that should be completed each day. If you struggle with brushing your teeth for that long, consider buying a toothbrush with an automatic timer or use a stopwatch.
Although many don’t consider flossing as important as brushing, it is! Flossing plays a vital role in removing plaque between teeth and preventing cavities. Tooth-decaying bacteria can still linger between the teeth after brushing, so it is essential to floss between each tooth once daily to remove plaque and food by the gumline. For those who struggle with handling dental floss, there are other options that you can use, such as special brushes, picks or sticks, that clean between your teeth just as well as normal floss. If you do decide to use dental floss, pull 18-24 inches of floss out of the dispenser and wrap the ends around your index and middle fingers. Tightly hold the floss around each tooth in a C-shape while moving the floss back and forth and up and down against the side of each tooth. The sequence of brushing first and then flossing or vice versa doesn’t matter, as long as you do a thorough job at cleaning each tooth.
The best way to prevent problems is by paying attention to your teeth. Brushing and flossing each day will greatly lower your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and cavities. Along with a good oral hygiene regimen at home, make sure that you are scheduling regular checkups and cleanings to protect you from unnecessary dental pain and disease. Visiting the dentist every six months is recommended to catch cavities early and stop decay before it even starts. If your family is in need for a dental checkup or if you have questions regarding how to brush and floss your teeth, call Stonebrook Family Dental at (303) 872-7907! Our talented staff is dedicated to your family’s oral health and getting you the beautiful smiles that you deserve!