Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is crucial to maintaining good oral health. It helps you prevent tooth decay and gum disease, along with the bad breath. Here are a few brushing and flossing tips for a healthy smile.
Twice a day, first thing in the morning and before bed, you should brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean the teeth surfaces on the outside and inside of the mouth. You should spend at least two minutes brushing to ensure optimal plaque removal and oral health. Your dentist may also recommend that you use an electric or sonic toothbrush that will automatically shut off after two minutes. When using a manual toothbrush, it is easy to lose track of time while brushing. By using an electric or sonic toothbrush, you will be able to focus on the act of brushing without worrying that you are spending too much time on each area of the mouth.
It is also important that you replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles are frayed to avoid cleaning too vigorously and causing damage to the teeth and gums. If you should experience sensitivity while using the toothbrush, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush or brush with non-fluoridated toothpaste until your sensitivity subsides.
When choosing a toothbrush, there are a couple of features you may want to consider. First, look for a soft-bristled brush with a small head. These brushes are gentle enough to use on sensitive teeth but can still clean away plaque and debris from the tooth’s surface. The bristles should be straight across instead of contoured or angled, as this can hurt your gums or cause your gums to recede. Check the label for a seal of approval from the American Dental Association to be sure you’re choosing a toothbrush that meets recommended standards.
Holding the toothbrush correctly allows your toothbrush bristles to reach between teeth and clean them thoroughly. Otherwise, you may not be able to clean these spaces properly. The American Dental Association recommends holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and moving the brush back and forth a few times in each space before moving on to the next space. Brush each quadrant of your mouth for two minutes total. Then, rinse with mouthwash at least once a day.
You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. If you are using an electric toothbrush, remove its head every three or four months.
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your smile is to floss your teeth daily, without fail. This is because brushing only cleans about 75% of the surface of each tooth, so plaque and bacteria can build up in between the teeth. This leads to cavities, gum disease, and other complications that will require a trip to the dentist to treat.
To floss correctly, you should wrap the ends around each of your middle fingers and carefully slide up and down along the sides of every tooth to clean. Use a new section of floss as you move between each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria and plaque. If you cannot reach all of your teeth with this method, try using a floss threader. This can help ensure all areas between the teeth are properly cleaned.
Call your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to help prevent oral health problems from developing further. These visits are also a great time to ask any questions you may have regarding your oral health or oral hygiene habits. Many dentists are happy to provide personalized hygiene tips and advice that will help you keep your mouth healthy for years to come.
To learn more about our dental services, you can schedule your appointment with our Torrance dentist by calling Nishikawa Family Dentistry at (310) 543-1655 or visiting us at 3556 Torrance Boulevard, Suite C, Torrance, CA 90503.