Brushing & Flossing Tips from a Wheat Ridge Dentist
When considering how to brush and floss properly, there are a few elements to consider. A proper brushing technique is the first step in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Things to keep in mind about brushing properly are positioning the brush, time, and pressure.
To brush your teeth correctly, it is recommended that you spend at least two minutes each time you brush. This can be roughly divided up into about 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth, i.e. the upper right, lower right and so on. Electric toothbrushes often have a timer built into the brush to ensure that you spend enough time brushing in each area of your mouth. If you don’t have an electric toothbrush, it might be helpful to keep a clock or watch handy so you can be sure that you really are brushing long enough.
Another thing to consider is the angle at which you hold your toothbrush. You want to position the brush at a 45% angle to your gums. Then, brush with short, tooth-wide strokes against the gumline. Make sure that you reach all the way to the back of your back teeth. Use this 45% angle to brush the outer and inner surfaces. As you move onto the chewing surface of your teeth, hold the brush flat and move it back and forth along these surfaces. To brush the back of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and gently brush up and down against the back of these surfaces.
Be sure to brush gently against the gumline. This brings us to the third aspect of proper brushing. Pressure. Don’t brush too hard. You can damage your gums and cause them to begin receding over time if you brush them to aggressively. Also, only use a soft bristle brush, this will protect both your gums and your tooth enamel.
Things to Keep in Mind When Flossing
When flossing, there are few things to keep in mind as well.
Use about 18 inches of floss so you can use a fresh piece around each tooth. As you slide the floss between your teeth, take care to do it slowly and carefully so as not to force it harshly down into your gums. Once the floss is between your teeth, curve it around one of your teeth in a C-shape. Then gently run it along that tooth gently cleaning just under the gumline with it. Then wrap the floss around the other tooth in the same way and floss it as well. Be sure to floss the back side of your last teeth in the back as plaque can easily accumulate there.
Properly brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day are the most important things you can do to maintain good oral hygiene. Making a habit of these things over your life will prevent many dental problems, giving you a healthy mouth full of teeth that can last your entire lifetime.