The Importance of Brushing and Flossing

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The popular saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, is commonly used to get children to eat fruit to stay healthy. The dental equivalent of eating an apple a day is brushing and flossing regularly. Maintaining a schedule of flossing and brushing regularly is mandatory when trying to avoid cavities and other oral diseases.

Dental experts say that brushing your teeth at least twice a day is important to maintaining good oral hygiene. If you are only brushing twice a day, however, you are still at risk for cavities and periodontal disease. Flossing at least once a day along with regular brushing is the key to maintaining optimum oral hygiene. Most dentists also recommend using mouthwash after brushing and flossing for increased protection from plaque and gingivitis.

Many people who have gums that bleed regularly may avoid flossing because they don’t think it’s healthy to make their gums bleed. What these people don’t realize is that flossing can actually help prevent their gums from bleeding.

In 2006, a study was done on twins to determine the advantages of flossing on bleeding gums. In the study, one twin flossed and brushed regularly while the other twin on brushed for 14 days. After the 14 days, the twins who flossed regularly showed a 38 percent decrease in gum bleeding.

It has been proven through numerous studies that flossing when combined with regular brushing removes significantly more plaque. With this combination, you are less likely to run into serious problems, such as cavities and gum disease.

Proper Brushing Techniques

Brushing your teeth regularly is important but it’s less affective if you aren’t doing it properly. Ineffective brushing is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Knowing how to properly care for your teeth is just one step to maintaining proper oral hygiene.

  • Buy a toothbrush with a cover – Properly caring for your toothbrush is more important that you may think. Having a brush cover to keep bacteria and other particles off of your toothbrush will help ensure you aren’t putting that bacteria in your mouth when you brush.
  • Proper brushing angle – Most experts recommend brushing at a forty-five degree angle to remove as much plaque as possible. This angle allows the bristles of the toothbrush to remove more plaque than by just scrubbing randomly.
  • Brushing Movements – Once you have finished brushing using a forty-five degree angle, you should brush each tooth using a clockwise and counterclockwise movement. Be sure to cover every inch of the tooth using these techniques to get the best results. Using different movements to clean your teeth helps remove more plaque than standard brushing.

Proper Flossing Techniques

Proper flossing is also important to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

  • Most experts recommend cutting eighteen inches of floss and wrapping about half of it around each of your middle fingers. Holding the floss this way allows you get the best results.
  • While holding the floss between your index finger and thumb, gently move the floss between your tee Rubbing the sides of the tooth as you move the floss in and out will remove any built of plaque and debris that can’t be removed by a toothbrush.
  • It’s important to curve the floss around each tooth to clean below the gum line as well. If you’re not gentle doing this, you may end up cutting or bruising your gums.
  • Use a clean piece of floss for each section so you don’t replace debris that was already removed.
  • To remove the floss from your teeth, just use the same back and forth motion to slide the floss out.

Most experts agree that while brushing and flossing twice a day is sufficient, it is recommended that you brush and floss after every meal to achieve optimal results. Even if you brush and floss regularly, it is impossible to keep your teeth 100% bacteria free. Making regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and cleanings is an important part of maintaining proper oral hygiene.