Are You Doing the Best Job Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth?
Highly effective home care, including frequent brushing and daily flossing, is your best means of slowing or preventing tooth decay and gum (periodontal) disease. When combined with routine dental cleanings and check-ups, you’ll maintain your oral health and support better whole-body health. It’s essential to rid your mouth of plaque and bacteria daily to avoid tooth loss and gingivitis (gum disease). If it’s been a while since you’ve had a refresher about tooth brushing and flossing, read on for tips and information about how to do a better job. Your teeth and gums will thank you.
Also, when you visit Farber Center for your dental cleanings and check-ups, we’ll take extra steps to help you do your best at home. If you’re discovering us for the first time, we are a Long Island periodontal and dental implant center with locations in Hauppauge and Medford, NY. When you visit us for a cleaning, our dental hygienists often will apply a plaque disclosing agent to highlight areas needing more attention as you brush. You’ll be given a score against which you can compare during your next visit. We’re always pleased to answer questions and provide information to help you improve your home care.
Manual and Mechanical Toothbrushes Need to be Selected and Used Properly
We are staunch advocates of the home care information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA). They advise you to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. If you’re using a mechanical (battery-operated) toothbrush, take a minute to read and follow the use instructions provided by the manufacturer. For manual toothbrushes, follow recommendations from the ADA.
- Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles
- Buy a new brush every three to four months — at least three times a year
- Always use a toothpaste accepted by the ADA
- Brush gently at a 45-degree angle to your gums
- Use a short, gentle, back-and-forth motion
- Brush all sides of your teeth, including the chewing surfaces
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue at the end to remove bacteria for fresher breath
If you have a minute, you can view this how-to video from the ADA with an easy-to-follow demonstration about optimal tooth brushing techniques. If you have any condition such as arthritis that makes it uncomfortable to brush as recommended and for the full two minutes, you might be a candidate for a mechanical toothbrush. It can help you do a thorough job with less effort.
Whether You Floss Already or are Just Starting, Here are Essential Tips
Farber Center and the ADA recommend flossing daily with proper technique. Daily use of floss, which in clinical terms is known as an interdental (between teeth) cleaner — may reduce both cavities and gum disease. It is an essential part of an excellent home-care routine to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Cleaning between your teeth reduces plaque that not only causes decay but also can lead to tartar build-up that only a dental hygienist can remove. Proper use of dental floss includes five essential steps.
- Use 18 inches of floss, wound around a middle finger on each hand
- Grip the floss between your thumb and index fingers
- Gently insert the floss between your teeth and use it to rub their sides
- When at the gum line, curve the floss around each tooth; slide it softly between teeth and gums
- Hold the floss firmly and evenly against the sides of teeth as you rub between them
Although there has been recent media coverage questioning the effectiveness of flossing, virtually everyone in the dental and periodontal communities strongly supports its use daily. It is an integral part of a good oral hygiene routine and should not be overlooked for adults and children. There are many benefits, and there is no reason to skip an essential step in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If you’d like to watch a flossing demonstration, check out this video from the ADA.
Our mission at Farber Center is to help you keep your teeth for your entire life. Therefore, effective home care, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily is crucial. If you lose a tooth for reasons you and we cannot prevent, we want to offer you a complete range of replacement options. These include the best dental implants Long Island has to offer. We’re in Suffolk County with two locations in Medford and Hauppauge, and also convenient to Nassau County. Our periodontal services are second to none; and, we employ the latest methods and laser technology to treat gingivitis (gum disease). If you have any questions regarding home care and the most effective ways to brush and floss, never hesitate to call or visit us. We’re always here to help.