Brushing and flossing are two things you should do every day to maintain and improve oral health. Brushing for two minutes two times a day and flossing once a day can help keep teeth clean, healthy, and bright, not to mention improve your self-confidence.
Most of us brush and floss each day without giving it much thought. However, brushing and flossing effectively is essential for your oral health. So how can you do these two steps correctly every day to reap the most benefits from time spent brushing and flossing?
Brush at a 45-Degree Angle to the Gums
When you brush your teeth, you should also be cleaning part of your gums. Brushing at a 45-degree angle to the gum line will help clean your teeth and the area just beneath your gumline .
You should also use shorter strokes when brushing and brush all sides of your teeth, including the backs of your upper and lower front teeth. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as brushes with stiff or firm bristles can do more damage to teeth than good.
Brush for the full two minutes. You can set a timer if you need to, keep an eye on the clock, or use an electric toothbrush. Most electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer, so the brush will automatically shut off when the two minutes are up.
Always wait about 30 minutes after eating before brushing, particularly if you have consumed something acidic, such as a sugary treat, citrus fruits, or alcohol. Brushing immediately after consuming these foods or drinks can cause tooth enamel to wear away.
For extra benefits when brushing your teeth, brush your tongue as well—it can help remove bacteria and plaque that cause bad breath.
Floss Using a “C” Shape Around Your Teeth
Flossing should happen once a day—it doesn’t matter when you floss, so choose a time that’s most convenient for you.
Use about 18 inches of floss to wrap the ends around your pointer or middle finger when flossing. Gently work the floss between your teeth and wrap the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape. This will help you scrape any food particles, bacteria, and plaque off the surfaces of your teeth.
You should also gently floss just beneath the gumline between each set of teeth, and don’t forget to floss the backside of your last tooth. You can floss using any product you like, including a flossing aid such as a water flosser if you need to .
Ask Your Dentist How you Can Improve
Even though we each do our best to brush and floss our teeth, we will inevitably miss some areas or clean some teeth better than others. Your dentist can point these areas out to you to help you improve your technique and your oral health, so don’t wait to schedule your next checkup!