Brushing and flossing are the two most effective ways of maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. Even if you brush your teeth every day, you may not be brushing your teeth correctly. The tips below will help you to perfect your daily oral hygiene.
Follow the 2×2 Rule
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends following the 2×2 rule: brush twice a day for two minutes.
- Select a soft bristle toothbrush, and brush gently
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
- Use an ADA approved toothbrush and toothpaste
- Brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line
- Alternate between vertical, circular, and up-and-down strokes to reach all angles of your teeth
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue
- If you want, you can finish up with a fluoride mouthwash
Should You Floss Your Teeth First?
Flossing first is good for a couple of reasons. For starters, you are less likely to skip flossing your teeth if you do it first. Second, flossing first can help to loosen up the plaque build-up before you brush. If you prefer to floss after brushing, that is ok too. You only need to floss once per day, either morning or night. Between brushing, floss as needed to remove small seeds or food particles that get trapped between your teeth.
Many people simply skip flossing because they don’t like to do it, or because they don’t see the purpose. While brushing your teeth is one of the most important components of oral hygiene, the bristles of your toothbrush can’t get between your teeth. This means that cavity-causing bacteria and food particles get trapped. Tooth floss also helps to remove plaque build-up close to the gum line, which your toothbrush does not always do an effective job of removing. By brushing and flossing, you keep your mouth fresh and clean.
Brushing Your Teeth: A Few More Tips
Brushing and flossing are the two most important parts of your daily oral routine, but here are a few more tips to keep your teeth looking their best:
- Select toothpaste you like. Whether you like its refreshing flavor, or the way it foams—you are likely to brush longer when you like your toothpaste.
- Keep tooth floss and a travel-sized toothbrush in your desk, purse, car or gym bag for those unexpected times when you need to refresh.
- Remember that even with perfect at-home oral hygiene, that you must come in twice a year for professional cleanings and x-rays.
- Understand which foods stain your teeth, such as wine, coffee, tea, and citrus.
- Make any dietary or hygiene changes suggested by your dentist.
If you live in the St. Paul area, and it is time for your bi-annual cleaning, call us today at 651-641-1908.