Brushing and flossing your teeth properly and consistently, along with visiting the dentist at regularly scheduled dental appointments and maintaining a healthy diet, is a sure way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong, and improve your chances for avoiding Periodontal Disease and other health issues. Here are the proper ways to brush and floss your teeth. Be sure to floss first to remove plaque from between your teeth and then clean up with the tooth brush.
How to Floss Teeth Properly
- Get Proper Amount of Floss - People have their own preference for how much floss they use, but people generally use 12 to 24 inches of floss during the process. Some like to roll out the floss and use a new part of the floss for every tooth, which is certainly more effective, just be sure to wash your hands after flossing.
- Hold Floss Properly - To make flossing easier, the proper grip on the floss can be helpful. We recommend holding the floss with it wrapped around both of your middle fingers until your fingers are two or three inches apart. That way you can use your other fingers, mainly your index finger and thumb to help with control and the ring finger and pinky will most likely serve to hold the excess floss out of the way. Don't sweat it. You'll get a system down the more you floss. If you have any questions, be sure to ask someone at your next dental appointment, or give us a call. Better to start proper hygiene now.
- Be Gentle - When getting the floss to go in between your teeth, be gentle and be sure not to force the floss downward. Move it side to side to let it work its way into the space below the crowns of each space. Any strong downward force into your gums can harm them and over time cause inflammation and gum recession, which are a couple things we want to avoid.
- U or C Shape - Push the floss around each tooth individually with your hands going in the same direction. This will create a U or C shape around each tooth. Every time you go in between two teeth, you will need to floss the side of one tooth and then the side of the other tooth. Pushing the floss in between the teeth and pulling them out without flossing the gum line is not as effective and getting around the gum line as well.
- Floss Up and Down - The proper movement while flossing is bottom to top. It's okay to move the floss up and down the tooth, but try to apply more force while moving up, so you can move plaque and debris away from the gum line. Start at the gum line and move up. Don't push the floss into your gums with too much pressure, just be sure to get the floss in between your tooth and gums and move the debris out. You're going to do great!
- Rinse - Rinse your mouth with water and commence to brushing.
How to Brush Teeth Properly
- 45 Degree Angle at Gum Line - Placing the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle toward your teeth and gums will serve to loosen food and plaque that gets stuck at the gum line.
- Circular Motion - Brushing at a circular motion, brushing along the gum line (top and bottom) will ensure you are brushing each tooth thoroughly.
- Apply Proper Pressure - Be sure not to apply too much pressure because this can cause damage to the gums and recession will occur after repeated abuse to the gums. Conversely, be sure to apply enough pressure to loosen food particles and plaque. Brushing your teeth should not cause pain or bleeding. A soft bristled tooth brush is also recommended. It's more gentle on the gums.
- All Tooth and Gum Surfaces - Pay attention to how well you have brushed each tooth. Be sure to brush your soft tissues as well, including, gums, cheeks, tongue and the roof of your mouth, to be sure every bit of your mouth is rid of food, bacteria and germs.
- Rinse Well - Once everything has been brushed properly and completely, rinse well with water or a dentist prescribed mouth wash.
Brush your teeth at least twice per day, or after each meal, and floss at least once per day. Flossing at night, before bed time is recommended so your teeth and gums can rest as well. Removing plaque and food particles thoroughly from teeth before bed will ensure that less bacteria is ingested while you sleep. Following a daily routine has benefits that can affect your quality of life for the rest of your life.
Please contact us with any questions at 281-492-6064.