OK, time for a quick trip into the way-back machine. Let’s revisit your childhood days. When you were younger, there are a few things you learned that stuck with you to this very day.
To take two basic examples: tying your shoes and brushing your teeth.
These skills have become so ingrained, they’re basically second nature. Which means you’re efficient at each one…right? If your shoes aren’t falling off and your teeth aren’t falling out, you can give yourself a passing grade.
Let’s jump ahead to the present. You still tie your shoes the same way, and brush your teeth just like you always did.
But are you doing it the right way? (We mean brushing; we’re confident your shoe-tying skills are as sharp as ever.) While we’re on the subject, are you also flossing correctly?
When our Dr. Dental team discusses brushing and flossing with patients, the focus is on two primary questions:
- Are you brushing and flossing regularly?
- Are you brushing and flossing correctly?
The first question is important, but the second question is just as critical to determining overall oral health.
Brushing: Common Sense & Careful Technique
Proper brushing technique is less widespread than you’d think; according to a recent study, more than 1 in 4 U.S. adults have tooth decay – and they’re not even aware of it!
Follow these simple steps for the cleanest teeth possible:
- Start with your upper teeth; tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently move brush away from the gums.
- Use short, swift strokes to clean the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
- Along the gum line, use a gentle circular motion to remove food particles and plaque.
- Once upper teeth are complete, repeat steps 1-3 for lower teeth.
- Bonus step: brush the top surface of your tongue for an even cleaner mouth!
Dr. Dental recommends using a soft bristle toothbrush, especially if you have sensitive gums.
Flossing: Simple Steps, Significant Oral Health Benefits
If you don’t floss every day (and you should), you’re certainly not alone. Approximately 70% of American adults fail to floss on a daily basis. Just like brushing, establishing proper technique takes a modicum of discipline. Here’s how to properly floss your teeth:
- Use a piece of floss at least 9-12 inches long
- Wrap floss around one finger on each hand.
- Use caution (especially if it’s the first time you’ve flossed in a while) and gently move floss back and forth between your teeth.
- Carefully position the floss around your tooth as your approach the gums.
- Pull down to remove plaque, food and other substances.
- Make sure you floss all your teeth; your molars (back teeth) are commonly missed.
Have you been brushing & flossing this way since you were a child? There’s a good chance you haven’t – but it’s never too late to relearn a basic skill. Dr. Dental offers a wide range of budget-friendly dental services for you and your entire family. And with our Dental Deals and Dentistry Discounts, you’ll enjoy even more value. Visit your local Dr. Dental office today; we have dozens of locations all throughout the New England region.