Brushing and flossing daily are critical in maintaining a healthy smile and keeping your mouth free from disease and tooth decay. When you visit our office, our dentist and hygienist will review your oral hygiene with you. Based on our discussion, we may provide instructions and recommendations on the best ways to brush and floss. If you have any questions, or if you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Shannon Pye, call our office at 843-549-5913.
How to Brush
You should brush your teeth at least twice each day, including in the morning and before going to bed. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. You should switch out your toothbrush for a new one about every 3 months. The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends using an electric toothbrush, as they are highly effective in cleaning your teeth.
- Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to where the gums and teeth meet
- Brush every surface of the tooth – the front, back and chewing surfaces
- Use small, circular motions to gently brush the front and back surfaces
- Use back and forth motions to brush the chewing surfaces
- Do not scrub or apply pressure
- Be sure to brush your tongue to remove fungi, food and debris
How to Floss
Flossing removes plaque, food and other debris from between the teeth. It also helps prevent bacteria from colonizing in those areas and below the gum line. Flossing daily helps prevent periodontal disease and will aid in keeping your mouth healthy.
When flossing, we recommend that you:
- Use a piece of floss about 18 inches long
- Wrap one end around your middle finger on each hand until the hands are 2-3 inches apart
- Gently move the floss between the teeth toward the gum line
- Curve the floss in a U-shape around each individual tooth
- Move the floss up and down several times to remove plaque and debris between the teeth
- Do not pop the floss in and out, or floss aggressively, as this could cut your gums
Why are brushing and flossing important?
Proper brushing and flossing provide many benefits to your oral health, including:
- Preventing tooth decay
- Preventing periodontal (gum) disease
- Preventing halitosis (bad breath)
- Preventing staining of the teeth
For more information about how to properly brush and floss, please feel free to contact our practice today.