Brushing your teeth is an important part of your dental care routine. For a healthy mouth and smile the dentist semi recommends you:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
- Limit the number of times you eat snacks each day
- Visit your dentist every six months for an oral exam and professional cleaning.
The proper brushing technique is to:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
There are many ways of cleaning between the teeth. What cleaning device you choose depends on the sizes of the gaps, but also on your own preferences. There are variety of products available for cleaning between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Interdental Tooth Brushes
- Dental Floss
- Electric Water Flosses & Piks
- Dental Toothpicks
How do I use the interdental brush?
- Choose the right size
- Insert gently
- Move the brush back and forth in each space
- Change size and curve the neck or wire when needed
- Change the brush when the filaments become worn
How to use interdental brushes between the front teeth
- Insert the brush gently between your teeth. Do not force the brush into a space; work it in gently or choose a smaller size.
- Move the interdental brush full length back and forth a few times.
Flossing Techniques and Tips
To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:
- Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
- Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Don’t force floss, as this can cut or bruise sensitive gum tissue
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
- To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth
Electric Water Flossers & Piks
Electric toothbrushes aren’t the only popular electric-powered dental gear. Electric flossers, also known as water flossers or oral irrigators, are a popular alternative to string flossing. They mix water and air and forces it from the tip of the device.
Additional Flossing Aids
#1: Floss Threaders
A threader is a simple, disposable tool sold in the dental care section of nearly every grocery and pharmacy. It is easy to use with any kind of floss. Its primary use is to help people with braces floss more effectively by pulling through the gap of the tooth.
How to Use a Floss Threader
- Pull off 12 to 18 inches of your preferred dental floss.
- Insert one end of the dental floss about five inches into the loop of the threader.
- Pass the floss threader under or over any dental appliance such as braces, permanent retainer or bridge.
- Remove the threader from the floss and floss gently back and forth and up and down into the gumline between the teeth.
- Repeat the process.
What Time of the Day Should You Clean Between Teeth?
Since we concluded you should floss once a day, what time is the best? Most dentists recommend opting for after dinner, since you salivate less while sleeping. Since less saliva is present you have a higher chance of bacteria eating away at your teeth.
Anything you can do to prevent decay at night is your best bet.