Am I brushing and flossing correctly?
A helpful guide for you….
You do it every day, twice a day (or you should be at least) so you probably think that you’re doing it correctly, but are you?
Brushing removes plaque and bits of food from the inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth.
· Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45-degree angle against your gumline. Move the brush in small circular movements, several times, on all the surfaces of every tooth.
· Brush the outer surface of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against your gumline.
· Do this again, but on the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
· To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small, circular strokes with the front part of the brush.
· Brush the biting surfaces of your teeth.
· Brush your tongue to help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.
You know we ask you every time you visit the hygienist and you know you say, “Yes!” every time….did you also know we can tell if you’re lying about it! If you’re not flossing then please don’t say you are if you’re not. It might be that you need to be shown how to use it properly or you may prefer interdental sticks and brushes but pretending you floss regularly if you don’t, puts your teeth, gums and smile at risk!
· Break off about 45 centimetres (18 inches) of floss, and wind some around one finger of each hand.
· Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, with about an inch of floss between them, leaving no slack. Use a gentle ‘rocking' motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Do not jerk the floss or snap the floss into the gums.
· When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth until you feel resistance.
· Hold the floss against the tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum. Repeat on the other side of the gap, along the side of the next tooth.
· Don't forget the back of your last tooth.
· When flossing, keep to a regular pattern. Start at the top and work from left to right, then move to the bottom and again work from the left to right. This way you're less likely to miss any teeth.
Outside of brushing and flossing here are some of our top tips on maintaining a beautiful smile…
· Brush your teeth for two minutes, last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, using fluoride toothpaste.
· Spit toothpaste out after brushing and do not rinse.
· Use a toothbrush with a small- to medium-sized head.
· Use a toothbrush with soft to medium, multi-tufted, round-ended nylon bristles.
· Consider using a power toothbrush.
· Use small, circular movements to clean your teeth.
· Change your toothbrush regularly and at least every 3 months.
· Clean between your teeth every day using interdental brushes or dental floss.
· Have sugary drinks and foods less often.
· Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.