Brushing and flossing daily is imperative for optimal oral health. Not only is it important to brush and floss regularly, it is imperative that you do so with proper technique. Proper dental hygiene will help you maintain a healthy smile.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. When selecting a toothbrush, choose one with soft bristles and a head that is small enough to reach all areas of your mouth. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brush using a 45-degree angle where the teeth meet the gums. Press firmly, brushing with small circular movements. Do not scrub or brush vigorously. Be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, paying special attention to the front and back teeth. Brush your tongue from back to front.
Floss at least once daily, using whatever type and flavor of floss you like. Use any of the following methods to floss your teeth:
• Finger-Wrap Method: Cut off an 18-inch piece of floss. Wrap the ends around your middle fingers until your hands are two to three inches apart.
• Circle Method: Cut a 12-inch piece of floss and tie the ends together.
• Plastic Flossing Tool: Plastic flossing can be purchased at most drug stores.
Gently work the floss between your teeth and towards the gums. Curve your floss around each tooth in a C-shape. Gently slide the floss under the gum line and move the floss up and down several times to scrape off plaque. If flossing causes the gums to bleed, this should stop as your gums become healthier.