The cornerstone to a good at-home oral hygiene regimen is proper brushing and flossing. Practicing excellent dental hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly dental treatments.

Brushing

brush.pngBrush your twice daily, AFTER breakfast and just before bedtime. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning teeth than manual brushes and the doctors highly recommend them. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles and plaque that may be at or just below your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all surfaces of the teeth. It will take about two minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

As soon as the bristles start to wear down or splay, replace your toothbrush with a new one.

Flossing

brush.pngFor areas between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach, dental floss is needed to remove food particles and plaque. It is very important to floss between your teeth each and every day, and is most effective if done at night AFTER brushing.

Pull an 18 inch length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth and under the gum line, displacing any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Also floss behind all of your very back teeth.

Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little for a few days, but the bleeding will stop as the gums become healthier. If the bleeding does not stop after the first week, let a staff member know at your next visit.