One of the best ways to fortify your oral health and prevent dental maladies is to practice excellent oral hygiene, which should include brushing and flossing your teeth. For these practices to be effective, though, requires that they be done consistently and properly. To aid in your quest for the healthiest mouth, teeth and gums possible, your dentist in Phillipsburg weighs in to provide some helpful tips.
Why are Brushing and Flossing Important?
Brushing and flossing your teeth work together to clear away the debris and bacteria that can lead to a host of oral health issues like gum disease, tooth loss, bad breath, oral cancer and others. The back-and-forth action of the toothbrush’s bristles agitate the leftover food particles that cling to the teeth and also cleans the soft tissues in the mouth.
While the toothbrush is valuable, it can only address around 60% of the surface of your teeth. To clean the rest requires the flexibility and malleability of dental floss, which weaves between the teeth to remove the bacteria and debris that hide there. Because floss can get deep into these hidden areas, it plays a very important role in gum health as well by preventing any undesirables from seeping beneath the gumline.
How Long Should You Brush and Floss Your Teeth?
To get the most out of your efforts, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least two times a day. The American Dental Association also recommends that you brush for at least two minutes each session. This provides enough time to clean your teeth properly and helps to prevent gum irritation.
When it comes to flossing, there is no minimum time that you should perform the task. The key, instead, is to get into the areas between your teeth and thoroughly clean them using the right technique.
The Right Way to Floss
The first step to flossing is to withdraw the correct amount, which should be around 18 inches. Then wrap it around your two index fingers, leaving about one-to-two inches exposed. Forming the floss into a ‘c’ shape, gently slide it between your teeth and clean using a slight back-and-forth motion. Follow this method repeatedly for all of your teeth.
How to Brush Correctly
When brushing your teeth, it’s best to use a toothbrush with softer bristles to further aid in preventing irritation and rely the following techniques for cleaning the different parts:
- Front-Facing Surface – When brushing the front of your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle away from your gums. This helps to prevent irritation.
- Chewing Surface – Clean the chewing surface holding the brush flat while moving gently back-and-forth.
- Inner Surface – When you get to the inner area, hold the toothbrush vertically to provide the best coverage and safest execution.
Your efforts to correctly and consistently perform oral hygiene will pay off. Being proactive now will prevent the problems mentioned above. Additionally, it will save you time, money and unnecessary suffering. Furthermore, it will make your trips to your family dentist in Phillipsburg for preventive care much more enjoyable.
So get on board with practicing excellent oral hygiene today!
About the Author
A pioneer in the field of dentistry, Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino has 30 years of experience as a dentist. The Farleigh S. Dickinson School of Dental Medicine graduate is known around the world for his innovative approach to dentistry and has been named as one of the “Top Dentists in America” twice. Dr. DeMartino helps patients enjoy the absolute best in dental care at DeMartino Dental Group, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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