Regular dentist visits are just one aspect of maintaining a great smile and a healthy mouth, but at-home care dental care is undoubtedly where most of your routine should be practiced. Without adhering to a consistent and diligent care routine, plaque build-up, decay and even cavities could develop quickly.
To make sure that your mouth is as healthy as possible and to aid in the prevention of these issues - correct tooth brushing and flossing techniques should be used.
Brushing your teeth is a simple yet incredibly effective way to help minimize plaque which can cause more serious issues in the future. Brushing a minimum of twice daily is recommended, however, it is good to aim to brush after each meal if it is possible. If it is not possible, rinsing the mouth with clean water will help remove any food particles from the mouth.
The correct way to brush is as follows:
- Brushing should involve both the tooth surface and the gums, so the bristles should always be felt on the gums.
- Brush all the tooth surface, as well as gums in a small circular movement. Be sure to make sure the spaces between teeth are also brushed using the tip of the brush.
- Always brush your tongue and insides of cheeks as well to remove any bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Electric toothbrushes have been recommended over manual brushes as they remove plaque more effectively and the steps above can also be followed using an electric brush.
Flossing should not be neglected in your routine, as the bristles on a toothbrush cannot reach the spaces between the teeth and below the gumline. Floss is a great tool for helping to disrupt plaque colonies that can build up over time and cause inflammation and decay.
Flossing should be carried out as follows:
- Using roughly 12 to 16 inches of floss, wrap the ends around your forefingers and gently place inside the gaps of the tooth.
- Move the floss in a sawing motion to dislodge anything in the gaps and then an up and down to clean the sides of teeth.
- Curve the floss into a C shape and move in an up and down motion to clean the gumline.
Rinsing helps to remove food particles, acids and bacteria from the mouth and should be used after brushing and flossing as well as after a meal. Make sure to follow your dentist or hygienist’s recommendation if they have given you a medicated or over the counter rinse product.
There are also other dental products that may be recommended to you that can be added to your hygiene routine including tongue cleaners, interdental brushes or water picks which can enhance the health of your teeth and mouth.