The Right and Proper Way to Brush, Floss, and Use Mouth Wash
Proper oral healthcare at home requires three critical components: brushing, flossing, and mouth washing. Unfortunately, not everyone manages to make all three a part of their daily routine – and even then, they might not be doing everything right, and when these three simple things are not a part of your daily habits, you leave your oral health open to much bigger problems, such as the need for root canals or Denver CO dental implants.
So let’s take a look at the right and proper way to protect your teeth from the wear and tear we subject them to every day.
Brushing is about time. At least two minutes, twice a day.
Sound pretty easy? It’s just two little minutes out of your day. And yet, most adults don’t come close to that number. We get started and feel like as long as the brush touches each tooth, we’re covered.
Don’t give in. Spend every one of those 120 seconds focusing on your teeth. Once you’re accustomed to spending the right amount of time, we can start polishing some of those brushing skills. So when you’re ready to improve your technique, follow these tips:
- Tilt the brush to a 45 degree angle against the gum line
- Use sweeping motions and brush away from the gum line
- Focus on the gum line and the hard-to-reach areas around the back teeth
- Use short, gentle strokes
- Clean by section. An easy way to time yourself is to spend 30 seconds on each section.
- Start with the outer surfaces of upper and lower teeth
- Move to the inner side of upper and lower teeth
- Clean the chewing surfaces
- Brush the tongue to get fresher breath
Don’t overdo it. At least two times a day is the goal, but more than three might be too much and could wear down tooth enamel.
Flossing gets rid of the plaque that a brush physically can’t reach and can help you avoid cavities and periodontal disease. The process is simple, but like many simple things, every step matters:
- Start with 18 inch strand of floss
- Wind most of the strand around your middle fingers and hold about 1 – 2 inches tautly between your thumbs and forefingers
- Use a gentle rubbing motion as you guide the floss between teeth
- Curve the floss into a C shape against each tooth as you reach the gum line
- Slide the floss into the space between the gum and the tooth and keep rubbing gently
- Always be gentle – don’t snap the floss into your gums
- Slowly move the floss away from the gums with an up and down motion
- Floss each and every tooth using a clean section of the floss
The Mouth Washing
Mouthwash is often seen as an extra step that can be skipped, but an anti-microbial mouth rinse each day is an important step in protecting your teeth and preventing gum disease. This is about complete mouth care, because brushing and flossing alone can’t kill all the unwanted germs in there.
Most mouthwashes are available over-the-counter, but there some prescriptions-strength rinses and we’ll work with you if you need something like that. What’s most important is to always follow the instruction on either kind to make sure you are using them correctly.
When you follow up flossing with this step, it will make sure the spaces in between your teeth get some fluoride and, when used in conjunction with proper brushing, it can increase the time that the fluoride from the toothpaste remains in contact with your teeth.
Making It a Routine
All of these techniques won’t mean a thing if you aren’t doing them regularly. Once you get into a solid routine, using the proper methods, it will soon become second nature to you. It’s never too late to start improving your oral health care, so start building a new routine today. These three simple things are key to keeping your mouth happy and healthy, but is a fourth thing that should be a very important part of your dental-hygiene routine: frequent dental visits and professional cleanings. This should be something that you make a priority at least once a year. Our office will let you know if there may be reasons to come in more often. Contact us, your Denver Dentist today for any question you may have.