Good oral hygiene is the key to a healthy smile. Daily brushing and flossing greatly reduces the risk of gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. Using a proper brushing technique to remove food debris and bacteria can be accomplished with an electric or manual toothbrush.
Recommended Brushing technique:
Using a fluoridated toothpaste and soft bristled toothbrush at least 2 times a day for 2 minutes preferably after meals is recommended. Proper brushing technique includes holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards the gums and rotating in a circular motion. Making sure to get all surfaces of the tooth including front, back and top and don’t forget to brush you tongue which can harbor bacteria. One rule to remember: to brush longer not harder. Harder brushing may cause tissue damage and gum irritation.
Recommended Flossing technique:
While brushing gets the top and sides of the teeth, the only way to get in between the teeth is by flossing. Wrap an arms length of dental floss around your middle fingers, leaving approximately 2-3 inches of floss between the fingers. Insert the floss between the teeth using a sawing technique using your thumb and pointer finger to help guide the floss. Curving the floss around each tooth using an up and down motion will remove debris between the teeth.
Floss holders/picks and electric toothbrushes are a great option for people who have limited mobility.
There are many food that contribute to dental decay due to sugar and acid content. You dentist and hygienist may recommend avoiding foods such:
- Carbonated Beverages
- Sugary foods
- Sticky foods
- Gum that is not sugar free