Every morning and every night, you brush and floss your teeth. You’re sure not to miss a day – even when you’re busy – but sometimes you have to zoom out the door to beat the rush hour traffic, and when you get home, time slips away and you’re practically asleep while caring for your smile. Like most people, brushing and flossing can become routine, and your technique can suffer – leaving your grin at risk for dental problems. In this post, the team at Green Hills, your premier dentist in Nashville, helps you brush up on your skills to improve your oral hygiene routine at home.
What Is The Correct Way To Brush My Teeth?
Dr. Jaime Kirby likes to remind patients that they should brush their teeth gently for two minutes twice a day. Use the following approach when brushing to keep your mouth happy:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45° angle when touching your teeth and gums with the bristles.
- Use short, gentle, side-to-side strokes.
- Brush the tops, insides, outsides of your teeth, making sure to get every surface area.
- Brush your tongue.
- Use a toothpaste that has stannous fluoride in it, since this particular type of fluoride is naturally antibacterial and helps strengthen enamel.
- Try switching to an electric toothbrush if you have a tendency to brush too hard.
- Use a timer or play a fun song on your phone to make the time fly by.
- Watch this short video to make sure your technique is right on track.
What Is The Correct Way To Floss?
Since brushing alone leaves almost half of your teeth’s surface dirty, floss at least once a day. Try these tips to make sure you’re flossing the right way:
- Delicately slide the floss against each side of your teeth, moving it in a C-shape.
- Use gentle pressure, but be sure to clean under the gum line.
- Don’t rush or snap the floss in between your teeth – this can cause painful trauma and injury to your gums.
- Take a look at this helpful flossing video to refresh your memory on proper flossing.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Brush & Floss Properly?
If you use the wrong approach to your at-home oral hygiene regimen, or worse – if you skip brushing and flossing – you can put your smile at risk for serious problems, including:
- Gum Disease
- Gum Recession
- Tooth Decay & Cavities
- Tooth Loss
- Bad Breath
- Root Decay
- Broken or Chipped Teeth
- Oral Infections & Inflammation
Now that you know how to brush and floss correctly – and why you should – schedule your appointment with Green Hills to have our team give you a refresher course on correct technique with a one-on-one office visit.
About the Author
Dr. James Kirby earned his dental degree from the University of Tennessee at Memphis in 2008. Since then, he’s worked in both private and corporate dental practices and seen many unique dental cases. To learn more about his practice or get additional tips on improving your oral care technique, contact him through his website.