Sure, you brush and maybe floss once a day, but are you doing it right?
Improper brushing and flossing can leave bacteria and food particles behind that can lead to plaque build up, tartar, bad breath and maybe even more serious oral problems. By simply correcting your brushing and flossing techniques, along with scheduled dental check-ups, you can make a dramatic improvement in overall oral health.
The following pointers may help make that difference on your next dental check-up.
- To thoroughly clean your teeth, brushing should take 2 to 3 minutes to complete.
- Always use a toothpaste containing fluoride to help prevent cavities. All Plus White® Toothpastes contain fluoride for added cavity protection and help to remove plaque to control tartar build up.
- Brush after every meal or at least twice a day. (See the back of packaging for further instructions.)
- Replace your brush every 2 to 3 months or sooner if the bristles look frayed and worn.
- Floss at least once a day to clean between teeth where brushing can miss.
Proper Brushing Technique
The following steps can help you make brushing your teeth more effective. So approach the sink, pick up that brush and let's get brushing!
- Choose a toothbrush with soft, round-ended nylon bristles. This will ensure you will not damage or irritate your teeth or gums while brushing.
- Wet the brush, pick-up your favorite Plus White® Toothpaste and apply enough paste to cover the bristles of the brush.
- Place the brush along the gum line on an angle and brush in a back and forth motion and rolling motion along the entire surface of your teeth. You should concentrate on brushing 2 or 3 teeth at a time.
- Continue brushing the outer surfaces of your teeth before moving to the inner surfaces.
- Brush the inner surfaces of back teeth as described above.
- For the inner sides of front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up and down strokes using the front half of the brush.
- Finally, clean the biting surfaces of your teeth. Place the brush against these surfaces and use a gentle back and forth scrubbing motion to clean them.
- Always brush your tongue from front to back to help reduce odor-causing bacteria.
- Rinse well.
- Clean your toothbrush well and store it in a dry, airy place.
Proper Flossing Technique
Brushing alone won't thoroughly clean your teeth. Food particles get trapped between teeth and along the gum line where brushes cannot reach. These are the places in your mouth that plaque will start to build up. Now, look yourself in the mirror, string up those fingers and let's plan our attack on plaque!
- Take a piece of your favorite dental floss, about 18 inches long.
- Wrap each end of the floss around each index finger and using your thumbs, secure it in place.
- Pull the floss taught and with a gentle back and forth motion, slide the floss between your teeth and bring it down under the gum line.
- Release the tension from the floss so you can wrap the floss around the surface of the tooth that is to be cleaned.
- Scrape the tooth surface several times beginning below the gum line to the top of the tooth.
- Continue with each tooth until you have flossed all tooth surfaces. Don’t forget your back teeth.
- Give your mouth a good rinse and you are good to go!