Brushing and flossing are of paramount importance to oral hygiene. Though bi-annual professional dental cleanings remove plaque, tartar and debris, excellent homecare methods are equally valuable.
Why are brushing and flossing so important?
Proper brushing and flossing can enhance the health of the mouth, make the smile sparkle and prevent serious diseases.
Prevention of tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of tooth loss, and its treatment often requires complex dental procedures.
Tooth decay occurs when the acids found in plaque erode the natural enamel found on the teeth. This phenomenon can easily be prevented by using proper home hygiene methods.
Prevention of periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is a serious, progressive condition which can cause tooth loss, gum recession and jawbone recession.
Periodontal disease is caused by the toxins found in plaque, and can lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body.
Removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surface of the tooth using a toothbrush, and from the interdental areas using dental floss, is an excellent way to stave off periodontal problems.
Prevention of halitosis
Bad breath or halitosis is usually caused by old food particles on or between the teeth. These food particles can be removed with regular brushing and flossing; leaving the mouth healthier, and breath smelling fresher.
Prevention of staining
Staining or the yellowing of teeth can be caused by a wide variety of factors such as smoking, coffee and tea. The more regularly these staining agents are removed from the teeth using brushing and flossing techniques, the less likely it is that the stains will become permanent.
A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal for you. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. It starts at home by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
An Ideal Oral Hygiene Routine
Brushing and flossing everyday won't do you much good if you're not doing it properly!
Click through the guide below for a great oral hygiene routine at home, to keep your pearly whites sparkling between appointments at our office!
How to Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an CDA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
- Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
- Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of your front teeth.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing cleans spaces, and prevents plaque colonies from building up.
- Take 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) of floss between your hands.
- Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a gentle sawing motion.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
- Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing & Supplemental Aids
It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to ask your dentist or dental hygienist whether it’s right for you.
Other dental aids may be recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist:
- interdental brushes
- rubber tip stimulators
- tongue cleaners
- irrigation devices
- medicated rinses