The foundation for healthy teeth and gums is regular brushing and flossing to eliminate plaque and prevent the formation of tartar. But even if you brush regularly, your oral hygiene regimen may not be as effective as you would expect. Brushing right is just as important as brushing often. Take a moment to review your brushing and flossing techniques, and make sure they live up to the following standards.
- Use a soft-bristled brush. Hard bristles can wear down your enamel and leave your teeth susceptible to decay.
- Choose a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is essential to keeping your tooth enamel hard, and the small amount that you get in your diet is rarely enough. In addition to regular fluoride treatments from Sherman Oaks, you should ensure that your toothpaste is helping replenish this vital mineral.
- Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums. This helps the bristles reach underneath your gumline, where plaque is likely to accumulate.
- Brush in a circular motion rather than side to side. This causes less irritation to the gums, reducing the risk of infection and gum recession.
- Keep brushing for at least two minutes. Make sure to brush every tooth surface, paying special attention to the chewing surfaces of the molars, where food is most likely to be trapped.
- Don’t brush too hard. A little firmness is good, but too much force will damage your enamel and irritate your soft tissue.
- Keep a length of dental floss taut between two hands. Loose floss is not as effective.
- Switch sections of the floss as you proceed so that the same used section is not transferring particles from one tooth to another.
- Floss between every pair of teeth in your mouth. Even where there are wide gaps, it’s better to be safe than to miss a bit of food or plaque.
- Clean both sides of each gap by holding the floss first against one tooth, then the other before you move on.
- Make a c-shape with the floss by pulling it tight against the tooth surface so that it curves.
- Run the floss up and down the length of the tooth, including sliding it under the gumline.
- Rinse your mouth after flossing to get rid of the plaque and food you have dislodged.
If you have questions or concerns about your dental health, feel free to schedule an appointment! Sherman Oaks is happy to care for your teeth and teach you to do the same.