Brushing and flossing your teeth at home. Now there’s a subject that livens up the most mundane holiday party conversation! That could be exactly the problem. We’ve brushed our teeth for as long as we can remember so that the whole process can become somewhat mundane. Truth to tell, we probably get more stressed out when we go past our oil change mileage in our car than we do about our home dental hygiene.
That’s a shame. After all, a car’s just a car. You can always buy another. But your teeth…take care of them and they’ll keep on chomping away for the rest of your life. Forget about them and treat their hygiene indifferently at your own risk. Your future can be filled with gum disease, tooth extractions, and other dental health nightmares.
But healthy teeth start at home. So, here’s the Gentle Dental take on what you should be doing for your home dental health care.
What is the proper way of brushing my teeth?
Twice daily is the proper amount of brushing your teeth, although you can do it three times if you want to keep your breath fresh for a meeting or something. Use a soft-bristled brush (bristles that are too stiff can damage your tooth enamel and make your gums recede) and use gentle pressure. You should brush for around two minutes, 30 seconds per quarter of your mouth. Here’s how to brush teeth properly:
- Position your tooth brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Using small, circular strokes, gently brush the teeth while making sure that the bristles are also touching the gums. Use overlapping circles to cover all the tooth surfaces.
- When brushing, make sure the inner, outer, and biting surfaces of the teeth are included.
- Using the tip of the brush, clean the inner portion of your front teeth.
- It is important to brush the tongue as well to remove existing bacteria and to freshen up your breath. Hit the pockets on the sides of your tongue, too. And don’t miss the roof of your mouth.
Electric toothbrushes are great, but not required as long as you brush diligently. Use toothpaste with fluoride. Whitening toothpaste with fluoride do whiten teeth somewhat, although nothing like a professional whitening.
What is the correct way of flossing my teeth?
You should floss your teeth once daily. Flossing has two purposes. It removes food debris and plaque from between the teeth, and it stimulates the gums. You may have heard about some study last year that questioned the worth of flossing, but those results are up for debate. Plus, what’s the worst thing that can happen by flossing? Keeping your teeth and gums healthier! Follow these steps to properly floss your teeth:
- Use a piece around 18 inches long. Wrap the thread around your middle fingers and leave 2 inches of thread in between your fingers.
- Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently insert the floss in between each tooth and clean the area following a sawing motion.
- Hold the floss in a “C” shape on each tooth as well as under the gumline. Move the thread up and down to clean every side of the tooth.
If you want more convenience, you can purchase floss holders. Flavored floss? If you like cinnamon and cinnamon-flavored floss will make you floss regularly, then we say “Go for it!”
See, now you’re well armed for the conversation at that holiday party at your in-laws in Paramus! Speaking of dental hygiene, is it time for your regular cleaning and exam? Call the pros at Gentle Dental, (732) 549-5660, to make your appointment.