Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques
- To keep teeth and gums healthy, brush your teeth morning and night with a soft bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush.
- If using a manual toothbrush, hold it at a 45 degree angle to the gums and move the brush back and forth, gently massaging the gum. Concentrate on one tooth at a time. Then brush towards the chewing surface of the tooth pulling the plaque and food debris away from the gums and tooth.
- Make sure to include every tooth and every suface:the outer surface(cheek side), the inner surface(tongue side) and the chewing surface.
- If using an electric/rotary toothbrush, hold it gently on the tooth by the gumline and follow the curvature of the gums-allowing the rotary brush to do the brushing for you. Make sure to brush every tooth surface including cheek side, tongue side and the chewing surface too.
- The best way to keep the gum tissue and the spaces between your teeth clean is to floss every night before bed. Brushing alone only removes 50% of the bacteria.
- Use about 18 inches of floss-wrap it around your middle fingers and hold the floss between your thumb and index fingers. Carefully apply gentle pressure to get through the contact area between teeth. Gently cup the tooth in the shape of a “c” and gently slide the floss under the gum, scraping the tooth for bacteria and plaque. Repeat this pattern until you have flossed all your teeth.
- If you have braces or other appliances, floss threaders can help you achieve the same results as described above.
- Any of your dental care providers will be happy to demonstrate these techniques to you.