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Brushing &

Flossing

A dynamic duo. Combining flossing and tooth brushing to thoroughly remove plaque each day will help prevent cavities and gum disease. It doesn’t matter whether you floss or brush first; what matters is that you remove the plaque. 

Brushing

You should brush your teeth for 2 or 3 minutes with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day. If you can brush your teeth after every meal, that’s even better. Keep a toothbrush at work so you can brush after lunch. 

 

What’s the best toothbrush?

 

The requirements for a good toothbrush are simple:

  • it should bear the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp of approval (found on the package);

  • its head should fit easily into your mouth;

  • it should be labeled “soft” and have round-ended bristles to prevent damage to teeth and gums.

An electric toothbrush may help those who have difficulty brushing their teeth, but a regular toothbrush can clean teeth just as well. 

 

Brushing tips:

  • Brush your teeth gently. Don't squash the bristles - that means you're brushing too hard.

  • Replace your toothbrush every two to three months, or as soon as the bristles are worn or bent. A worn-out toothbrush does not clean your teeth properly and can hurt your gums. You should also replace your toothbrush after you've had a cold.

  • Be sure you are reaching every tooth. The toothbrush can only clean one or two teeth at a time, so move it around a lot. You should keep the bristles angled against the gum line and brush along the gum line and the inner and outer surfaces of each tooth.

  • Avoid toothbrushes with hard bristles, which can damage your gums. Use a toothbrush with soft, end-rounded bristles.

  • You should finish by brushing your tongue, which helps remove bacteria from your mouth.

 

Flossing 

 

How important is flossing? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gum line, where decay and gum disease often begins. Make sure to floss at least once a day, preferably before bed, to clean the places where a toothbrush can’t reach. 

 

How to floss:

  • Use about 18” of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.

  • Gently follow the curves of your teeth

  • Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.

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