As you are likely aware, brushing and flossing are crucial at-home preventive measures that can help you maintain the health of your mouth. When you brush and floss regularly, you are taking steps to help minimize the chances of decay and the subsequent need to treat it. Even if you already make it a point to complete both of these tasks every day, it is still important for you to reassess your techniques to make sure that you are effective and efficient in your efforts. In today’s blog, your Prairie Village, KS prosthodontist discusses the proper brushing and flossing habits to help keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
Improve Your Brushing
As you probably know, you should be brushing twice a day. This is what many of our parents and childhood dentists instilled in us from an early age, as it helps prevent cavities that require fillings to repair. This frequency is the baseline, and it is important to stick to this. In addition to doing this twice a day, you should be doing it for at least two minutes. Because you have been brushing for years and likely rely on muscle memory, it is easy to assume you are hitting this mark. If you time yourself, however, you may be surprised that you are brushing for less time. With this in mind, it is helpful to set a timer on your phone until you get a feel for what two minutes really feels like. If you have an electronic one, there is most likely a built-in timer, so you can rely on this feature. While you should brush the fronts of your teeth for a brighter smile, you also need to reach all sides of each tooth. Be sure to not forget your gums either.
Do Not Overlook Flossing
As noted, you should brush at least twice a day, you just need to floss at least once. Many do so at night, and this is a good idea because you are removing any trapped food particles before they have the chance to settle between your teeth as you sleep. They can cause bacterial build-up, so you want to remove them as soon as possible. When they remain, they can cause gum disease and bad breath.
For an ideal technique, start with roughly a foot and a half of floss, and wind most of it around your fingers; leave just a couple inches exposed. When you are flossing, make sure you curve the floss around the base of each tooth and be sure to go beneath the gum line. As you go from one tooth to another, take care to use new, clean sections, so you aren’t just putting any removed particles back into your mouth. If you have any questions, be sure to ask us when you come in for your next cleaning and exam.
Contact Us To Learn More
If you have any questions about these suggested techniques or general dentistry, overall, contact Dr. Stuart Dexter, prosthodontist in Prairie Village, KS by calling 913-362-8200 and schedule your next appointment with our team.