One of the easiest ways to help prevent gum disease is to brush and floss every single day, so therefore it is important to know the correct way to take care of your teeth and gums. It does not matter if you brush first or floss first, as long as you do both at least twice a day!
The Proper Way to Brush and Floss Your Teeth
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) provides free information on periodontal disease at their website perio.org. We here at The Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants know just how extremely important it is to take care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis, and want to share this information to as many people as possible.
The most commonly used toothbrush out there is the manual toothbrush. However, to get the best cleaning you can get at home is actually an electric toothbrush, which uses electrical power to move the brush head. The resulting vibrations that are created gently clean your teeth, for a better, more thorough cleaning.
It is important to always choose a soft brush head when using either a manual or an electrical toothbrush, and to replace it when the bristles begin to bend (or every two to three months).
When it comes to floss, many people stress over what type they buy. However, according a recent study in the Journal of Periodontology, all dental flosses are equally effective. This means that it does not matter which type of floss you choose to use, and that you can try different kinds to find out just what kind you like the best.
There are many brands of floss, and a few different types, including
You can always ask us for suggestions or for samples of floss while you are at our office!
How to Brush
This may seem like a silly topic to cover, but the truth is many people are not actually brushing their teeth properly. It is important to position the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. While applying slight pressure, gently move the brush in a circular motion using short strokes. Use this method to clean the front of your teeth, then move to the back, the biting surfaces, and then even your tongue, all using the same movements as before.
Be sure you are constantly moving the brush head to avoid damaging your gums!
How to Floss
Pull out about 18 inches of floss to start with. Wrap it around one finger per hand, pulling the floss taut and leaving about 2-3 inches of floss between your fingers. While holding on tightly, insert it between your teeth, starting in the very back on one side of your mouth. Gently slide the floss up and down, making sure to remove any debris before moving on to the next tooth over. Repeat this process, flossing in between every single tooth, unwrapping fresh floss from your finger as you go.
Don’t Forget Your Regular Checkups!
Daily brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to help prevent gum disease because it keeps the formation of bacteria-rich plaque to a minimum. However, you should be sure to always keep up with your regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist (or periodontal specialist if you working on treating periodontal disease) at least twice a year to have your teeth cleaned professionally and to screen for signs of periodontal disease, oral cancer, and other oral issues you can’t see or feel at home.
We understand money may be tight in the current economy, but preventing gum disease can be less expensive than treating gum disease! Additionally, research has found that people with gum disease can have higher health care costs than people without it! Take the time now to regularly brush and floss to help prevent gum disease and avoid higher health care costs and future health care issues.