Why is brushing daily important? Good question. The most important part of a good dental routine is brushing and flossing every day to remove plaque. Plaque, the thick, slightly sticky substance you sometimes feel on your teeth, forms all the time. It has bacteria and food bits in it that cause decay and cavities if left on your teeth. The only way to keep it from harming your teeth is to brush and floss regularly. Most dentists recommend that you brush twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime, with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Use a soft toothbrush and brush gently to keep from damaging your teeth or gums.
- Don’t share a toothbrush with someone else. You can pass germs back and forth.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or if the bristles are flattening out. A worn-out toothbrush won’t clean your teeth very well. Toothbrushes today typically have an indicator that signals when you should replace them.
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which has been proven to prevent cavities.
How to brush your teeth
- Angle the toothbrush slightly up toward your gums.
- Brush back and forth gently in very short strokes along every tooth.
- When you finish brushing the outsides of your teeth, brush the insides and tops.
- Brush your tongue once you finish with your teeth to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
- Brushing will not clean the plaque between your teeth. Remember to floss once a day to remove the plaque from between your teeth to prevent decay and gum disease.
Why is it important to floss every day?
Most dentists recommend that you floss once every day to remove the plaque from between your teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach, and to help prevent gum disease.
- Don’t be in a hurry when you floss. Take your time to remove all the plaque or food from between your teeth.
- Floss every day at a time that works for you. It’s more important to floss daily than it is to floss at a certain time.
- Use as much floss as you need, generally about 18”, to clean between each of your teeth with a clean section of floss.
How to Floss
Talk to your dentist about the best way to floss your teeth or try this method to get you started. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers with a short section pulled tight in between. Use your first fingers to gently guide the floss between two teeth all the way to the gum. Use a back and forth motion if the teeth are close together.
Wrap the floss around one of the teeth in a “c” shape to clean all around the tooth. Gently move the floss up and down to remove plaque without hurting your gums. Repeat for all of your teeth.