Brushing and flossing will not achieve the best results unless you are using proper techniques. At Anthony Bartels, DDS, we demonstrate proper techniques at your regular hygiene appointment so that you get the most out of your home oral care.
Using Proper Technique
When brushing your teeth, be sure to use the tips of the bristles to do the cleaning. Pressing harder will not get your teeth any cleaner and may even cause damage to your teeth and gums. Brushing, when done regularly, should feel comfortable and even pleasant, not like a battle to be fought!
Angle the bristles toward your gumline and use a gentle, yet thorough technique to remove plaque from near your gumline, where it is most likely to collect. Spend about 30 seconds per quadrant for a total of two minutes of effective brushing. You can go longer if you feel you need to! Don’t forget to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth where starchy and sticky foods collect, providing fuel for bacteria.
Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent decay and be sure to change your toothbrush every three months (or more) as its effectiveness diminishes with wear. If your toothbrush looks severely frayed, you are probably brushing too hard.
When flossing you should use plenty of floss so that you can have a fresh piece as you work your way around your mouth. Start at the back and floss the backs of your teeth and then in between each pair of teeth on both sides. Think of your floss as a squeegee that removes plaque and food particles from your teeth. You should take your floss slightly below your gumline on either side of the papilla in order to do a thorough job. The type of floss that works best for you will depend upon your teeth. If they are close together, a Gore-Tex ribbon floss might be the best choice. For patients with teeth that have spaces between them, a woven floss might do the best job.
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Contact our Jonesboro, AR dental office today to learn more about great oral health!