Flossing & Brushing –
Along with a regular dental exam, brushing and flossing are the most important things you can do for your dental health. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Regular and thorough brushing removes the plaque that causes gum disease and decay. Brushing your teeth isn’t complicated.Here is a general how-to guideline:
How To Brush –
Use a soft brush with rounded bristles. Choose a size and shape that allow you to reach all the way to your back teeth.The right toothbrush cleans better.There are many different types of brushes ,so ask your dentist or hygienist to suggest the best one for you. Replace your toothbrush every three months,or when the bristles begin to splay.
Brush at a 45 angle to your teeth. Put the bristles at the place where your gums and teeth meet. Use gentle circles.
Change your usual brushing pattern.Most people brush the same way all the time.That means one can miss the same spots all the time. Try reversing your usual pattern.
Don’t scrub. Years of brushing too hard can make your gums recede.This is unfortunately very common problem that is often not known to the patient,unless they are already suffering from sensitivity to cold and/or sweets.
Clean every surface of every tooth. This means you must brush the cheek side, the tongue side and the top of each tooth.
Slow down. A thorough brushing should take two to three minutes. Try timing yourself.
Brush your tongue.This is a commonly overlooked area that holds food and plaque and can contribute to halitosis(bad breath).
Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with your toothbrush. If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day. Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque reduces the chance to harden into tartar. Getting into the habit of daily flossing is easier when you floss while doing something else like watching TV or listening to music, for example.
How to floss your teeth –
Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder. Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about one centimeter between your hands.
Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gum line. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times,then reverse the “C” shape of the floss to cover the surface of the neighboring tooth.
Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth and the 2 surfaces of the 2 teeth that are involved with every contact point.. Don’t forget the backs of your last molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.
Brush your teeth after you floss – it is a more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Flossing Problems and Solutions
Gums sometimes bleed when you first begin to floss. Bleeding usually stops after a few days. If bleeding does not stop, see your dentist. Floss can shred if you snag it on an old filling or on the ragged edge of a tooth. Try another type of floss or dental tape. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice. If your floss still shreds, see your dentist.