We were all shown how to brush and floss as a kid but ever wonder as an adult if you were actually brushing and flossing correctly? Home care is equally important to visiting the dentist twice a year. Brushing and Flossing are the most important daily habits to good oral hygiene. Proper brushing and flossing not only protect the teeth and gums from disease but also reduce bacteria that may lead to other diseases in the body.
The Benefits of Brushing
The purpose of brushing is to remove food particles from your teeth. If not, the by-products of food and drinks we ingest can stick to your teeth and cause breakdown of tooth structure.
Proper brushing and flossing are essential for prevention of:
- Bad Breath
- Periodontal Disease
You should plan to brush at least twice a day or after each meal. The proper toothbrush should be small with soft bristles and should ideally be changed every 3-4 months. There are also various types of electrical toothbrushes that have received The American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
If you choose an electric toothbrush, such as Philips Sonicare, focus on the area where the gums meet the teeth. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue – a large percentage of bacteria live there!!
Steps for Properly Brushing:
- Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the surface of the tooth where the gums and tooth meet.
- With small circular motions gently brush the teeth and gums.
- Be careful not to apply too much pressure or scrubbing. This can damage the enamel of the teeth and the soft tissue of the gums.
Although your teeth may feel fresh just after you brush, food particles and bacteria remain in the small spaces between the teeth. Flossing is an additional way to prevent decay and gum disease by removing plaque from the spaces between the teeth. These areas are difficult to reach with traditional toothbrushes and flossing should be completed daily. There are many types of floss on the market and selecting the right type of floss is important and should be discussed with Dr. Bingham and Dr. Howarth.
When flossing, make sure you clean the spaces between the teeth in the front and back of your mouth. You may bleed a little at first. As you make flossing a habit, the bleeding should stop. If you continue to bleed following regular brushing and flossing, make an appointment with your Tulsa Dental at Bingham & Howarth Family Dentistry.
Steps for Flossing:
- Dispense a piece of floss and wrap one end around the middle fingers of both hands. Continue wrapping until you can place your index finger on the floss and they are 4-5 inches apart.
- Work the floss between the contacts of the teeth down toward the gums.
- Once the floss is past the contact gently curve the floss in a c-like shape around each individual tooth and gently move the floss up and down to remove debris.
Preventive care is an important part of maintaining excellent dental health. Dr. Bingham, Dr. Howarth, and our hygienists will be able to help you with proper brushing and flossing techniques. We look forward to seeing you at Bingham and Howarth Family Dentistry. Contact us today!