Dental Tips | 16 September, 2019

The Ultimate Brushing and Flossing Guide

It’s fair to say everyone knows that a mouth full of healthy pearly whites requires daily brushing and flossing.

But if you think a 30-second brush will remove the fuzz and ‘a once in a while’ floss will keep cavities at bay, you may need to think again.

Did you know that a proper clean with your toothbrush takes at least two minutes? Most adults do not come close to that.

And what about that floss? Having it sit there and come out for use on the odd occasion, probably isn’t going to cut the mustard either.

So in order to keep your brush and floss game strong, here are our ultimate tips:

Brushing Guide

Find the right toothbrush:

Overwhelmed by the options? Go for a soft to medium bristled brush. Small-headed brushes are also preferable since they are better at reaching those hard to get places. A tooth brush with a flexible neck is also ideal. For many, an electric powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity.

Refine the act of brushing:

Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes, especially in the morning and before bedtime. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use small, circular motions, paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns, implants or other restoration.

Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:

Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth.  Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth. Clean the chewing surfaces of all the teeth.

Replace your toothbrush:

Replace your toothbrush approximately every three months or when it the bristles begin to show wear.

Extra tips:

For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue at least once a day, too.
Research suggests that the exposure to acidic food and drinks during meals softens the enamel of your teeth. Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods and drinks increases the chance of enamel erosion. To help prevent dental erosion, drink or rinse with water immediately after eating or drinking.

Flossing Guide

Floss daily:

Make it part of your morning and bedtime routine. Flossing daily helps to remove food that’s stuck and also helps remove plaque.

Refine the act of flossing:

  • Pull approximately 30 centimeters of dental floss from the floss dispenser
  • Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers
  • Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth

Don’t forget your regular check-ups!

Make an appointment to see your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and a professional clean.