Proper brushing is essential for cleaning teeth and gums effectively. Use a toothbrush with soft, nylon, round-ended bristles that will not scratch and irritate teeth or damage gums.
- Gently brush the outer tooth surfaces of 2-3 teeth using a vibrating back & forth rolling motion. Move brush to the next group of 2-3 teeth and repeat.
- Maintain a 45-degree angle with bristles contacting the tooth surface and gumline. Gently brush using back, forth, and rolling motion along all of the inner tooth surfaces.
- Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Make several up & down strokes using the front half of the brush.
- Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth & use a gentle back & forth scrubbing motion. Brush the tongue from back to front to remove odor-producing bacteria.
Remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Researchers have established that thousands of microbes grow on toothbrush bristles and handles. Most are harmless, but others can cause cold and flu viruses, the herpes virus that causes cold sores, and bacteria that can cause periodontal infections.
Flossing is a very important daily step in maintaining good oral hygiene. Dental floss is a thin string that can be waxed, unwaxed, plain or flavoured. The technique can be awkward to do at first, but with practice, flossing will become easier and together with brushing, should be a part of one’s daily routine.
The proper technique used in flossing is to wrap the floss between the thumb and forefinger of both hands and beginning with the molars, wrap the floss around each tooth, working it up and down several times on each side of the tooth. This motion will remove food particles and more importantly, it will remove the plaque that builds up. Flossing may cause some minor bleeding at first but after a few times, the bleeding should stop. Flossing should be done at least once a day, in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy.