The only way to ensure good oral health and reduce any risk of future dental problems is by brushing and flossing regularly at home. While many people brush twice each day, flossing isn’t quite as common. Flossing once a day is recommended by dental experts, but many adults skip it altogether. This is one of the leading causes of cavities and gum disease, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Get some tips for at-home brushing and flossing to help you maintain a healthy smile.
How to Care for Your Smile At Home
Although at-home brushing and flossing won’t guarantee a flawless smile that won’t ever have any problems, it can still help you avoid major dental complications in the long-run. Here’s what you need to know.
How Is Your Brushing Technique?
Many people aren’t aware that substantial teeth brushing should be at least two minutes. Next time you’re brushing your teeth, set a timer, focus on gently brushing each tooth, cleaning your gum line, and the hard to reach areas like your back molars. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and help eliminate bad breath.
Useful Brushing Tips
Here are some additional brushing tips to help you ensure good oral health and maintain a white smile:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Brush at a 45-degree angle from the gum line
- Use short, circular motions and scrub back and forth on each tooth
- Watch yourself in the mirror to ensure you’re reaching every tooth
- Replace your toothbrush every three months
The Best Way to Floss
As mentioned, flossing isn’t everyone’s favorite part of cleaning their teeth, but it’s extremely important to floss at least once a day. Food particles and bacteria will turn into plaque and quickly build up on your teeth and below the gum line, where it’s more difficult to reach with regular brushing. Proper flossing can help remove the plaque before it results in the early stage of gingivitis or cavities.
Useful Flossing Tips
Some important things to know when you floss each night are:
- Use 18-24 inches of dental floss or a floss pick
- Wrap the floss around two fingers on opposite hands and leave an inch between
- Slip the floss between your teeth and use a gentle sawing motion
- When you reach the gum line, curve it towards the tooth in a C motion
- Continue to floss each tooth until you’ve gone between each one
If it’s been quite some time since your last floss, your gums may be a little tender afterward, and they might be more susceptible to bleeding. This is totally normal, and you’ll see that the bleeding and soreness will go away within a week or so of regular flossing.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Your Check-Ups
Your home oral hygiene routine will only make your dental visits run smoothly. If you haven’t seen the dentists in a year or more, it’s time to schedule an appointment. At West Lake Dentistry, our team can help you combat cavities and gum disease and can use effective treatments to restore and rejuvenate your smile. With the combination of brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits, you can show off a pearly white smile all day, every day!