Taking proper care of your oral hygiene is an important part of maintaining your overall health. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you’re at an increased risk of many health problems, including gum disease and even heart disease.
That’s why it’s equally important to understand the correct ways to brush and floss your teeth. The providers at Dental Art of South Bay explain more below.
Why does it matter?
You might think as long as you keep up with your regular dental exams and cleanings, you don’t need to worry about what you do in between those checkups. But unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. What you do on a daily basis matters the most when it comes to your oral health.
Oral health means more than just having good teeth. It also means having a mouth that’s free of pain. This allows you to chew food painlessly and prevent further health problems, including gum (periodontal) disease and even heart disease.
How to brush properly
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day using the right tools, which include the following:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush that has the ADA seal of approval
- Fluoride toothpaste
However, there are some additional tips to consider.
Brushing your teeth the right way
You have additional things to consider when it comes to brushing your teeth. For example, you may choose to get an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes have a lot of benefits, including the fact that they get all of the surfaces of your teeth more effectively than a manual toothbrush.
You want to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your brush. You should brush all four quadrants of your mouth for about 30 seconds each. If you have an electric toothbrush, many models have timers to let you know when 30 seconds have passed.
You should also brush your teeth in an up-and-down motion, rather than side-to-side. A side-to-side, sawing type of motion misses a lot of your tooth surfaces. It also makes it more likely to brush too hard, which can wear away the enamel on your teeth. Since enamel doesn’t grow back, once it’s lost, it’s gone forever.
Flossing your teeth correctly
You need to floss your teeth once daily as well. Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your thumb and pointer finger, creating a length of approximately two inches.
Gently slide the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape. Then, move the floss to another tooth and do the same.
You can use either waxed floss or dental tape based on your preferences. Dental tape works better at getting in between tight spaces. Use a new piece of floss each day.
Make sure not to floss too hard, however. You may see a bit of bleeding, especially if you haven’t been in a regular habit of flossing. It should usually stop within a couple of days. If it doesn’t, you should make an appointment.
If you are overdue for a dental exam or cleaning or would like more information about proper brushing techniques, contact the providers at Dental Art of South Bay for an appointment.