Everybody needs to brush at least twice a day in order to protect their teeth from plaque. Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria inside your mouth, and can form anywhere on your teeth or gums. Plaque generates acids which can damage your teeth and gums, causing cavities and gingivitis. It isn’t enough though to brush twice a day. You have to do it right, otherwise your brushing will be ineffectual and will not protect your oral health. What are the best practices for brushing your teeth and flossing?
To brush properly, you will want to have a high-quality toothbrush with soft bristles which will be able to disrupt plaque but not irritate your gums. You will also want to invest in high-quality fluoride toothpaste. The best strokes for getting your teeth clean are usually small circular and back and forth motions.
Brush all of your teeth, including your hard-to-reach molars in the back, and make sure you get every side of your teeth. Your food does not end up exclusively on the front of your teeth. You need to get the backs and the sides as well (the sides you can’t reach you will get with floss). Also brush along your gum line gently, and brush your tongue briefly as well. Remember, plaque can gather anywhere in your mouth! If it has time to harden, it can turn into tartar more quickly than you think. And once it does, only a professional will be able to remove it.
After you brush, you will want to get in between your teeth using dental floss. It is worth it to invest a couple extra dollars in floss that is waxed or made of silk. This floss is less likely to fray, and also is not as hard and irritating to your gums. Push the floss gently against the gum line and remove any debris you find between your teeth. Do not slide the floss back and forth; this will cut your gums, causing irritation and possibly infection.
It is important to rinse after you floss. This is a step many people forget to take. After you floss your teeth, you will still have the debris and bacteria you loosened floating around in your mouth until you rinse it out.
It only takes a few minutes a day to protect your oral health. Taking care of your teeth from an early age can help you to keep them later. And even if you have had poor oral hygiene habits in the past, it is never too late to make a new beginning. So get started now with proper brushing and flossing. And if it has been more than a year since your last dental cleaning and checkup, make an appointment with a San Diego dentist to have your teeth and gums looked at. Your dentist will be able to give your teeth a thorough cleaning and remove any tartar buildup which has accumulated. An annual appointment can help you to prevent cavities, gingivitis, oral cancer, and other mouth problems.
Posted in: Oral Care