Four Common Brushing and Flossing Tips
Healthy teeth are vital to maintaining a beautiful smile and good oral health. While visiting your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning can certainly help, there are also things you can do at home to assist you in maintaining a healthy smile. Two of the most important things you can do is brushing and flossing your teeth.
Here, we provide four brushing and flossing tips you can implement to guide you in this process. In addition to providing general dentistry treatments and procedures, our dentists at Chrisman & Wyse Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Bloomington, IL also believe in educating patients and providing them with the right tools so they can protect their teeth for a lifetime.
Invest in a Good Toothbrush
Investing in a good toothbrush can keep your teeth healthy and gum line free of irritation. When checking the oral health aisle at your local grocery store, you will find a range of toothbrush options. Look for one that has soft bristles. While it may seem like the harder the bristles, the cleaner the teeth, hard bristles can actually cause more damage than good.
Use Good Brushing Techniques
As you brush, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently guide it over your teeth using a circular motion. Avoid brushing side-to-side, as this can irritate the gums and weaken the enamel.
If you are concerned about your brushing techniques, you may want to purchase an electric toothbrush. This type of toothbrush automatically rotates in a circular motion, and as an added bonus, you can select a toothbrush head that fits comfortably in your mouth.
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and before going to bed. If you struggle with cavities or gum disease, you may want to brush your teeth after each meal.
Watch Your Time
It’s easy to lose track of time while getting ready in the morning and either cut your brushing time short, or even brush too long. An effective length of time for brushing your teeth is two minutes. To help get you in the habit, set a timer on your phone or listen to two minutes of your favorite song.
Find Effective and Easy-to-Use Floss
Flossing is perhaps the most ignored oral health habit, but should be done daily. Although brushing helps eliminate plaque build up and debris from the surface of your teeth, flossing can remove trapped food from in between teeth and other hard-to-reach areas.
Basic flossing tips to remember include:
- Don’t be stingy with your floss. You want to make sure your floss can be easily grasped between your thumb and middle fingers to effectively floss your teeth. This may require using up to 18 inches at a time.
- Be gentle. Aggressive flossing can irritate your gums and cause bleeding and over time, gum recession. Using your index fingers, gently slide the floss up and down between teeth and around the base of each tooth, being careful not to force it.
- Find one that tastes good. Fun-flavored floss can help freshen your breath and make the process more enjoyable.
- Invest in a water flosser. This oral health appliance is beneficial for patients who wear braces or a restorative device, such as dentures or a dental bridge. A water flosser should not be used instead of traditional floss, but in addition to.
- Carry flosser picks with you. These products have a flexible, easy-to-grasp handle on one end and a taut piece of floss on the other, making it an efficient way to maneuver and remove trapped particles during the workday.
If it’s been some time since you last visited the dentist for a professional cleaning, don’t delay another day. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.