As an adult, you probably think you know all there is to know about brushing and flossing. After all, you’ve been caring for your teeth since childhood, and you still have most of them—hopefully! The good news is that you’re likely doing it right; the better news is that there’s always room for improvement. With these tips, we’re hoping you’ll feel more empowered when caring for your teeth at home, and maybe this way, you can finally reach those spots that hold a higher risk for cavities.
Let’s start by exploring why brushing and flossing are essential to your dental health. The main goal of brushing and flossing is to remove as much plaque as possible. Plaque is a cavity-causing material that comes about when bacteria breaks down food debris and sugars in your mouth. When you remove plaque from your teeth and oral cavity, you lower your chances of developing cavities.
Here are several crucial tips that will go a long way in maintaining your oral health:
You should carefully brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day. Two minutes is the recommended time that allows you to reach all your teeth. However, it’s not all about quantity. Quality matters, as well. What you’re doing during these two minutes determines whether you’re getting the care you need. As such, you must master the proper brushing technique.
Here’s how you should brush your teeth—brush the inside, outside, and top of every tooth. Use gentle but firm back-and-forth motions. Brush your gum line and tongue as well, and remember to be gentle as aggressive brushing can hurt the soft tissues. While brushing, your toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Remember to use a soft-bristled brush which must be replaced every three to four months.
Wrap a foot and a half of floss around your middle fingers, and use your index fingers to steer the floss between your teeth gently. Flossing helps to remove plaque from in between your teeth. For maximum effectiveness, move the floss between two teeth, back and forth until you’re satisfied that all plaque and food debris has been removed.
Even little teeth need attention. If you have children, get them started on a dental care routine that includes brushing and flossing as soon as their milk teeth come in. This way, your child will build a stable and healthy foundation for their permanent teeth. Clean your toothless baby’s gums after every feeding using a clean, warm, wet washcloth.
If you’re struggling with a regular toothbrush, you can make your life easier by opting for an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes have small rotating heads that can easily access hard-to-reach areas.
Remember, brushing immediately after consuming acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, is detrimental to your teeth, as acidic foods soften tooth enamel and make it susceptible to damage. If you’ve consumed oranges, lemons or grapefruit with your meal, wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth. The same goes for any other foods with high acidic content.
Well, there you have it. Brushing and flossing may seem simple and straightforward, but there’s always something new to learn. If you’d like more information about brushing and flossing, or if you’d like to book a dental appointment, call Luke Staley Family Dentistry in Terre Haute, Indiana.