14 Jan Brushing and Flossing
You’ve likely been brushing your teeth for most of your life; what more is there to know? It’s important to be in the habit of brushing, but the quality of your brushing is also vital. Did you know you should be brushing for a minimum of two minutes each time, in order to do a thorough job?
In addition to the amount of time spent brushing, good technique is also important. You should start by angling your toothbrush about 45 degrees, towards the gum line. Brush using a soft bristled toothbrush, preferably with short, circular strokes. Once you’ve done the outer and inner surfaces of all your teeth this way, move on to the flat chewing surfaces. Make sure the bristles are flat against the surface of the teeth, and brush back and forth. Once you’ve properly cleaned your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue! This will help keep your breath fresh and remove bacteria.
So, now you’re a brushing expert, but how often do you floss? If you’re like most people, you could stand to floss a bit more often. Getting into a daily routine alongside brushing is the best way to keep your teeth clean and cavity free. Start with a good amount of floss, 18-24 inches. Wrap the ends around your index and middle fingers, and slide the floss between the teeth, up to the gum line. Be gentle, especially if you don’t floss often, as the gums may be sensitive. Once the floss is between the teeth, run it up and down along the side of each tooth, making a “C” shape with the floss to exert pressure, dislodge any stuck food, and clear away plaque.
At first, your gums may feel sore or bleed a bit as you floss: this is completely normal, and if you keep up the routine, your gums should be used to the process in about a week. After flossing, give your mouth a good rinse to complete the process. Daily brushing and flossing is the most important habit you can get into for your dental health, but don’t neglect to continue to go for regular professional cleanings and checkups!