You’ve heard it your entire life: Floss and brush your teeth every day.
But you may not remember hearing specific directions on how to floss and brush most effectively. Your parents might have taught you when you were little, but that was a few years ago, so it’s time for a refresher.
Here’s advice on how to floss and brush properly from your friends at Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas. (We know a thing or two about this topic.)
Why you should floss and brush
Flossing and brushing daily are the most important things you can do for the health of your teeth. They prevent several problems, including tooth decay caused by acid sitting on your teeth (one of the primary causes of tooth loss).
They also prevent periodontal disease, another cause of tooth loss that can lead to receding gums and jawbone loss. Other problems flossing and brushing prevent include bad breath and stained or discolored teeth.
How to floss
Flossing once a day is the best way to remove plaque between your teeth. The type of floss you use doesn’t really matter. Once you find a kind you like, stick with it.
To floss properly, cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long and wrap the ends around your middle fingers until you’ve got a length of floss about 2-3 inches long. (This leaves your index fingers and thumbs free to position the floss between your teeth.)
Work the floss gently between your teeth and then curve the floss in a C-shape around each tooth and work it under the gumline. Move the floss up and down a few times at each stop to remove any food particles and plaque that may have gathered there.
Use a new section of your length of floss for each tooth.
How to brush
Brush your teeth at least twice each day. The head of the brush should be small enough to reach every area of your mouth, and the bristles soft enough to avoid damaging your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
To brush properly, put a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle where your teeth and gums meet. Use small, circular motions to brush your teeth and gumline.
Brush every surface of each tooth — consider working your way around the outsides of your teeth first, working back on the insides, then using back-and-forth motions to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
And brush your tongue to eliminate any funky food, debris, or bacteria. (This helps you have better breath too.)
Even if you floss and brush perfectly (and you probably don’t), you still need to visit your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings. To set up an appointment at Airport Dental Care, call our office or use our online booking tool. Happy flossing and brushing!