When it comes to brushing, you should aim to do it twice a day for at least two minutes. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that has fluoride. Also, be sure you’re holding the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums so that you don’t damage them. Move the brush in small circles over the teeth in short strokes. If you have a hard time reaching the back teeth, consider purchasing an electric or sonic toothbrush. These brushes make cleaning easier.
In addition to brushing, you need to take care of your teeth between appointments. You should floss at least once a day in order to rid your mouth of plaque buildup and food particles that get stuck between the teeth and cause decay. Flossing helps reduce the risk of gum disease because the bacteria that cause it are eliminated from between the teeth. Start by wrapping about an inch of the floss around your middle fingers. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth and clean along the gum line in a sawing motion. Repeat this process for each tooth. You don’t need to rinse out your mouth after flossing; just go ahead and brush normally.
There are two basic types of floss available, waxed and unwaxed. Waxed floss is typically easier to handle and glides through the teeth more smoothly. However, it can sometimes cause bleeding gums when first starting out. Unwaxed floss will work just as well, but may sometimes slide between the teeth more easily.
Using a piece of waxed or unwaxed floss, wrap it around your middle fingers. Gently slide the floss in between your teeth, making a C-shaped, to scrape away food particles that get caught between teeth or in the gum line. Pull the floss out and repeat until you’ve cleaned every tooth. Continue to change angles of the floss when you switch teeth for a multidirectional clean. When flossing the back teeth, make sure to use a new piece of floss to prevent bacteria from spreading from tooth to tooth.
At Legacy Dental Clinic, we want all patients to have excellent homecare routines to maintain their oral health. Brushing and flossing help to remove debris, bacteria, and food particles from the surface of teeth and along the gum line. If plaque remains on teeth too long, it can harden into tartar or calculus, which can lead to gum disease and even tooth loss if not removed and treated promptly. Visit our dentst, Dr. Jennifer Nguyen at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and checkup to keep your smile healthy and clean. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (825) 467-888!