Dental Education Vista
Did anyone ever teach you how to brush your teeth, or do you just assume you are doing it right? Do you have dental questions that you are embarrassed to ask because it seems you should already know the answers? Not to worry! Our team at Melrose Dental Arts is always happy to answer all of your questions.
How Should I Brush My Teeth at Home?
Brushing your teeth properly is key to performing good home dental hygiene. Use the following guidelines for healthy brushing habits that can help you prevent tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease:
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush, so you don’t damage your tooth enamel.
- Apply a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste to your toothbrush.
- Hold your toothbrush parallel to your teeth and gums at a 45-degree angle.
- Begin at the back of your mouth on one side and move around front and then to the back of your mouth on the other side, to ensure you brush all of your teeth.
- Brush from your gumline down to remove plaque. Focus on providing six to 10 strokes for every two to three teeth.
- Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth with short strokes.
- Brush the surface of your teeth facing your tongue. For easier access to the back of your front teeth, try holding the toothbrush vertically.
- Brush once after every meal, or at least twice daily.
- Brush for two to four minutes.
What is the Best Way to Floss at Home?
You may assume all you need to do to floss is slide the floss up and down between your teeth. However, flossing requires a specific method for optimum plaque removal. Follow the guidelines below for the proper technique:
- Begin with a long piece of floss, approximately two feet long.
- Wrap the ends of the floss a couple times around each middle finger.
- Direct the floss with your index fingers and thumbs.
- Gently slide the floss between two teeth, moving it down to your gumline.
- Gently wrap the floss around the side of one tooth in a C-shape.
- Move the floss up and down along the tooth to remove plaque.
- Repeat the same process on the adjacent tooth.
- Use a clean portion of the floss as you move between teeth.
How Else Can I Maintain Good Care of My Mouth?
Optimal oral hygiene is really quite simple. Brush twice a day and floss daily. Keep the amount of sugar you eat to a minimum. Harmful oral bacteria live on leftover sugars and food debris found on your teeth and gums. They ingest it, metabolize it, and excrete it as acid that causes tooth decay. When eating a sugary treat, try to consume it all in one sitting and then brush your teeth, or at the very least rinse your mouth with water. This will help reduce your chances for tooth decay.