Brush Up on Some Dental Care Basics

By February 26, 2015Blog

nedaThe beauty of your smile depends on simple dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing. But what’s more important is… Are you using the right techniques? Follow these steps to protect your oral health and brush up on same Dental Care Basics:

Brushing

Oral health begins with clean, brushed teeth. Keeping the area where your teeth meet your gums clean can prevent gum disease, while keeping your tooth surfaces clean can help you prevent cavities. Consider these brushing basics:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. And for roughly 2 minutes time.
  • Use the proper toothpaste and toothbrush. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid sensitivity. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which can reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) more than does manual brushing.
  • Practice good technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.
  • Know when to replace your toothbrush. Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months — or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

Flossing

You can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline with a toothbrush. That’s why daily flossing is essential. When you floss:

  • Be gentle. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it against one tooth.
  • Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress to the rest of your teeth.
  • Keep it up. If you find it hard to handle floss, use an interdental cleaner — such as a special wooden or plastic pick, stick or brush designed to clean between the teeth.

It doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first. However, flossing before brushing might allow more fluoride from your toothpaste to reach between your teeth, so we suggest FLOSSING THEN BRUSHING.

When to see the dentist

To prevent gum disease and other oral health problems, schedule regular dental cleanings and exams approximately every 6 months. However, be sure to contact your dentist if you notice any signs or symptoms that could suggest oral health problems, such as:

  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Gums that begin pulling away from your teeth
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Changes in the way your top and bottom teeth align with each other
  • Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Persistent bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth

Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with your gums, teeth and mouth can help ensure a lifetime of good oral health.