Brushing and Flossing

Brushing

Proper brushing can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing for at least 3 minutes twice a day will help remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. Brush twice daily with a soft toothbrush that is not worn out or frayed. Your toothbrush needs to be replaced every 3 to 4 months.

Adults and children over age 3 years should use a toothpaste with fluoride. The use of topical fluoride, which is in toothpastes, gels, and rinses, has been shown to reduce dental cavities. It is important that young children are closely monitored when using fluoride-containing products so that they do not ingest an excessive amount. Only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is necessary for a child to use.

Steps for getting the most out of your brushing:

  1. Place the toothbrush against your gum line (where the teeth and gums meet) at a 45-degree angle. Use a small circular motion to brush your teeth and gums.
  2. Brush the inner surfaces or backs of your front teeth with the front part of your toothbrush.
  3. Brush back and forth on the chewing surfaces of your teeth holding the brush flat.
  4. Brush for at least 3 minutes two times a day. Be sure to brush at bedtime to remove bacteria that can cause decay while you are sleeping.

 
Flossing

Flossing cleans between teeth where a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps control bad breath. By combining flossing and brushing each day, you can thoroughly remove plaque and prevent cavities and gum disease.
Steps for getting the most out of flossing:
 

  1. Wrap about 18 inches of floss around you middle fingers.
  2. Gently slide the floss between the teeth (don’t snap the floss into the gums).
  3. As the floss reaches the gum line, make a C-shape around the tooth until you feel pressure against your tooth.
  4. Gently scrape the tooth surface with the floss.
  5. Move the floss as it becomes soiled and repeat process for each tooth.