Great oral health starts with your home oral hygiene routine, and proper brushing and flossing tips are essential.
Brushing is crucial to keeping your teeth clean and to remove plaque from the gum line, teeth chewing surfaces, and the inside of the mouth. While most people understand that brushing is essential to keeping the teeth clean, many people brush incorrectly. People often brush too hard, so it is recommended that you use an electric or soft toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are recommended because they are easy to use and allow for more thorough brushing, but if you use a traditional brush, it is important that you are changing it out for a new one every three months.
When brushing the back of your mouth, be sure to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. Use short and circular strokes as you move the brush along the gum line. Also, when brushing the chewing surfaces, hold the brush parallel to the tooth surface and brush back and forth.
Flossing is vital for removing plaque from between the teeth, and it helps to clear plaque away from the gum line before it can turn into tartar and lead to periodontal disease. Some people find the use of floss to be difficult or awkward, and there are a variety of Interdental cleaning devices and floss holders than can help to make the process more convenient and comfortable.
To floss correctly, wind approximately 18 inches of dental floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Pinch the floss between your index fingers and thumbs so that 1-2 inches of length remains in between. Use your thumbs to move the floss between the upper teeth, and guide the floss between the lower teeth with your index fingers.
Use a zigzag motion to gently guide the floss between your teeth, and don’t snap the floss. Instead, contour the floss around the sides of your teeth, and slide it up and down against the surface. Take care to floss between each tooth thoroughly with a new section of floss.
Adding a mouth rinse to your daily flossing and brushing routine can increase the cleanliness of your mouth. Fluoride rinses can prevent or reduce tooth decay, while antimicrobial rinses can reduce plaque and bacterial activity, which can cause gum disease and gingivitis. However, it is important to discuss new products that interest you in advance with your dentist. Fluoride mouth rinses aren’t for everyone, especially children under the age of six. You should also be sure to check the manufacturer’s label for age recommendations and precautions.
Regular dental cleanings are also essential for optimal oral hygiene. When plaque hardens into tartar, it can only be removed with the specialized tools of a dental hygienist, and this is crucial to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Be sure to schedule regular cleanings and checkups every six months to ensure that your teeth are healthy.