Retaining your natural teeth allows you to reap the merits of better health. If you can chew you’re your food comfortably, you get to enjoy better digestion. A healthy, beautiful smile is also a natural asset to your appearance since you can talk more comfortably, adding confidence to your social and business conversations.
At Bayside Dental & Orthodontics, we educate our patients in Airdrie Alberta on good oral hygiene practises to not only protect their health, but also save them money that could otherwise be used on costly restorative or cosmetic dental procedures.
The best way to care for your teeth and mouth is to brush twice a day and floss regularly. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque, a sticky film that collects on the surface of teeth and gums, and makes acids that damage your teeth and gums.
Here are some tips to make the most of your tooth brushing routine:
- Start with the right tools – use a soft-bristled toothbrush so you can reach every surface of each tooth. Change your toothbrush every three months since bent or frayed bristles won’t clean your teeth properly.
- Use proper technique – to clean the outside surface of your teeth, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Move the brush gently in a circular motion multiple times using short strokes. Apply light pressure to ensure the bristles reach between the teeth, but not excess pressure that you feel uncomfortable.
- Take your time – brush for at least two minutes per session. When you’re done cleaning the outside surfaces, use the same technique on the inside, keeping the brush angled to clean the back teeth. Hold the brush vertically to clean the front teeth, making gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue.
- Clean the biting surfaces as well, watching yourself in a mirror to ensure that you cover each surface.
- Rinse vigorously after brushing to remove loosened plaque.
Proper dental flossing
Periodontal disease mainly occurs between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing is an effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces, so it’s important that you develop the proper technique and use the right tool. Here is how to floss your teeth properly:
- Using a wax or unwaxed floss, about 18 inches long, lightly wrap the ends of the floss around your middle finger on both hands.
- Use your thumbs and index fingers to guide the floss between the teeth.
- Wrap the floss around the sides of each tooth to form a “C” shape so you can get between the gums and teeth.
- Stop flossing if your gums begin to bleed.
- While you floss, check your gums in the mirror. Healthy gums should be firm and pink. If they’re red, swollen, or bleeding, consult with your dentist.
If you have any discomfort while brushing and flossing, or have questions about how to clean your teeth properly, be sure to talk to your dental care provider at Bayside Dental & Orthodontics.