How To Properly Brush & Floss

Brushing and flossing are of paramount importance to oral hygiene. Though bi-annual professional dental cleanings remove plaque, tartar, and debris, excellent home care methods are equally valuable. Proper brushing and flossing can enhance the health of the mouth, make the smile sparkle, and prevent serious diseases. Periodontal disease, which can result from lack of brushing and flossing, has been linked to heart disease.

Martinez Dental Solutions provides brushing and flossing education during our dental exams and cleanings. Request an appointment with us today.

Why Proper Brushing & Flossing Are Essential

Prevention of tooth decay: Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of tooth loss, and its treatment often requires complex dental procedures. Tooth decay occurs when the acids found in plaque erode the natural enamel found on the teeth. This phenomenon can easily be prevented by using proper home hygiene methods.

Periodontal disease is a serious, progressive condition that can cause tooth loss, gum recession, and jawbone recession. Periodontal disease is caused by the toxins found in plaque and can lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body. Removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surface of the tooth using a toothbrush and from the interdental areas using dental floss is an excellent way to stave off periodontal problems.

Bad breath, or halitosis, is usually caused by old food particles on or between the teeth. These food particles can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, leaving the mouth healthier, and breath smelling fresher.

Staining, or yellowing, of teeth can be caused by a wide variety of factors such as smoking, coffee, and tea. The more regularly these staining agents are removed from the teeth using brushing and flossing techniques, the less likely it is that the stains will become permanent.

The Proper Way to Brush

The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and before bed. The perfect toothbrush is small with soft, rounded-end bristles, and is no more than three months old. The head of the brush needs to be small enough to access all areas of the mouth, and the bristles should be soft enough so as not to cause undue damage to the gum tissue. The American Dental Association (ADA) has given electric toothbrushes their seal of approval, stating that those with rotating or oscillating heads are more effective than other toothbrushes.

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Basic Guide to Proper Brushing

  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where the gums and teeth meet
  • Use small circular motions to gently brush the gumline and teeth
  • Do not scrub or apply too much pressure to the teeth, as this can damage the gums and tooth enamel
  • Brush every surface of every tooth, cheek-side, tongue-side, and chewing surface. Place special emphasis on the surfaces of the back teeth
  • Use back and forth strokes to brush the chewing surfaces
  • Brush the tongue to remove fungi, food, and debris

The Proper Way to Floss

Flossing is a great way to remove plaque from the interdental regions (between the teeth). Flossing is an especially important tool for preventing periodontal disease and limiting the depth of the gum pockets. The interdental regions are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and should be cleaned with dental floss on a daily basis. The flavor and type of floss are unimportant. Choose floss that will be easy and pleasant to use.

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Basic Guide to Proper Flossing

  • Cut a piece of floss to around 18 inches long
  • Wrap one end of the floss around the middle finger of the left hand and the other end around the middle finger of the right hand until the hands are 2-3 inches apart
  • Work the floss gently between the teeth toward the gum line
  • Curve the floss in a U-shape around each individual tooth and carefully slide it beneath the gum line
  • Carefully move the floss up and down several times to remove interdental plaque and debris
  • Do not pop the floss in and out between the teeth as this will inflame and cut the gums

Why Choose Us?

  • Satisfying experience for new and existing patients
  • Our multilingual staff ensures a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere when you visit one of our offices
  • Our dentists are caring and thoughtful professionals that provide dental solutions that are second-to-none
  • No rotating doctors! Our dentists own and manage our dental offices, and you will always see the same dentist each time you visit
  • We follow strict sterilization techniques and cross-contamination prevention regulations as set by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Maintain the Health and Beauty of Your Smile

Request an appointment for our preventative dental cleanings and exams today as well as our cosmetic dentistry services, dental restorations, and more. We gladly serve the Jacksonville area including Ponte Vedra Beach, Riverside, San Marco, Fleming Island, and St. Augustine.

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