Floss Before You Brush
Use about 18 inches of floss. Hold the floss firmly with index fingers ½ inch apart. Start flossing with the upper teeth on the right side. Curve the floss into a C-shape against each tooth. Gently clean sides of teeth and under gums with an up-and-down motion.
When You Brush Upper Teeth
Use a soft toothbrush. Start brushing on the upper right. Gently work some of the bristles under the edge of the gums. Sweep the bristles down. Clean two or three teeth at a time. Slowly work your brush toward the front teeth and over to the left side. Then brush the insides and biting surfaces. Take your time in doing so.
When You Brush Lower Teeth
Starting on the right side, brush the outside of the lower teeth. Angle the bristles toward the gums then sweep to the top of the teeth. Move the brush slowly toward the front and left side. Then brush the insides and tops of teeth.
*When using an Automatic Toothbrush*
Follow the same procedures as outlined above. Brush 2 or 3 teeth at a time, working some of the bristles under the edge of the gums.
The Benefits of Brushing Effectively
Long-Term Results of Proper Oral Hygiene
The long-term results of effective brushing and flossing are seen here. The gums are a healthy pink color and a sharp “tucked in” appearance.
Long-Term Results of Poor Oral Hygiene
This case is a patient with poor oral hygiene. There is bacterial plaque along the gumline and a red, swollen response from the gums.
Periodontal disease begins in the crevice between the gums and tooth. Early signs of pocket development are shown on the right. Notice the dark mineralized deposits in the pocket.
Tips for Keeping Your Gums and Teeth Clean and Healthy
- Floss before you brush so that you don’t skip this critical step. Most dental disease occurs between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Don’t hurry. It’s better to brush and floss thoroughly once a day than partially three times a day.
- Be systematic. Start and end in the same place each time you floss and brush. If you skip around, you will miss cleaning some areas.
- Give special attention to cleaning the crevice between the gums and teeth.
- Get a new toothbrush every three months. A worn-out toothbrush is ineffective.
If you have additional questions about the proper way to care for your teeth or any of the services we provide at Magi Crofcheck, DDS, PA, Periodontics & Implantology, please call our office. We look forward to hearing from you.