How to Properly Brush & Floss

One of the most important things that a patient can do to keep a happy and healthy mouth is to maintain proper oral hygiene. This is the key to minimizing dental treatment. Through proper oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings, a person can avoid serious dental concerns.

The two most common dental diseases are dental caries and periodontal disease. Dental caries form when acids found in dental plaque form on teeth and weaken the hard structure of teeth, and periodontal disease develops when toxins found in plaque weaken and destroy the support of the tooth. Both of these diseases can easily be prevented by proper oral care.

In addition to these diseases, the prevention or even reduction of stain and halitosis (bad breath) can be achieved through proper brushing and flossing.

Ideally, a person should brush his or her teeth after every meal. Most people brush two or three times a day. Brushing is not very complicated, but there is a proper way. Brush at 45 degrees from your teeth with the bristles where the teeth meet your gums. Gently, massage up and down in a circular motion. Do not brush too hard as this can produce gum recession. Clean all surfaces of your tooth and realize that it should take at least two minutes to brush all your teeth. Remember to use a soft tooth brush.

Flossing removes bacteria and plaque from in between your teeth. One third of a tooth is reached through flossing. Flossing should be done once a day and it is a great habit to get into. Take a length of floss that is 18 to 24 inches long. Wrap it around your index and middle finger with two inches between your hands. Slide the floss between your teeth along each tooth a few times. Continue until all contacts are reached. Be gentle so as not to cut your gums.