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How to Properly Brush & Floss - N. Jacob Praff, D.D.S.

How to Properly Brush & Floss

Home / How to Properly Brush & Floss

Brushing and flossing our teeth are essential to our oral hygiene and overall health. Professional dental cleanings remove debris, tartar, and plaque, but only continuing that care at home by ourselves can make our mouths even more healthy, our smiles brighter, and reduce our risks for serious dental diseases.

For most of us, we learned how to brush our teeth when were kids, keeping these skills through adulthood, but some of us never learned proper brushing techniques.

Properly brushing and flossing our teeth:

  • Prevents tooth decay and tooth loss
  • Prevents gum diseases
  • Reduces bad breath
  • Keeps our smiles bright and white

The Right Way to Brush Your Teeth

We all know to brush our teeth twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening. We also know the best toothbrushes on the market have small, soft, round bristles that will not damage our gums. It does not matter if it is a manual or an electric tooth brush. As long as it has a small head that reach everywhere in our mouths, any toothbrush less than three years old will do.

While we know the right tools to use, we may not know how to use them properly. Stop by our office, and we will show you how. Until then, follow these simple steps to begin brushing your teeth like a dentist.

Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to where the teeth and gums meet

  • Brush gently in small circles on your gum line and teeth
  • Avoid scuffing or excessive pressure, which can damage your teeth and gums
  • Brush every tooth as well as the side of your cheek and tongue, especially your back teeth
  • Use back and forth strokes to clean your front teeth
  • Brush your tongue to remove debris, food and fungi.

The procedure is slightly different if you have braces. Braces require special care to ensure their long-term use. You should ask your orthodontist about how to properly care for your braces and any other special concerns you may have.

How to Brush Children’s Teeth

You want to teach your children how to brush their teeth as soon as they are old enough, but you have to do it for them before then.

Kids can brush their own teeth when they can brush without swallowing the toothpaste. At this moment, you will want to give him or her a child-size brush, children’s fluoride toothpaste, and an optional timer to help your child brush long enough.

The Right Way to Floss Your Teeth

Everyone understands brushing, but not many people know how to floss their teeth. This is unfortunate because flossing is the best way you can clean and remove plaque between your teeth. It also prevents gum disease while limiting your gum pocket depth.

We have to floss because brushes cannot reach between our teeth. Fortunately, the type and flavor of floss you use does not matter. You just need to floss properly to get the benefits.

Flossing your teeth is not difficult. Just follow these basics and you will have fresh, clean teeth in no time.

  • Use an 18-inch-long piece of floss
  • Wrap each end of the floss to a middle finger and pull your hands apart about 2 to 3 inches
  • Gently work the floss between your teeth
  • Curve the floss into a c-shape and carefully slide it around each tooth below the gum line
  • Move the floss up and down a few times to remove the plaque and debris between your teeth
  • Do not pop the flow between your teeth as this can cut or inflame your gums

These procedures worth well with natural teeth, bridges, and other dental implants without requiring special treatments. You just have to remember to floss under your bridge and implants as well as the spaces between them.