Toothbrushing removes plaque and food particles from the outer, inner and biting surfaces of your teeth. A number of different tootbrushing methods are acceptable. Whatever method you use, take the time to brush thoroughly everyday.
- The following method is one effective way of removing plaque:
Place the head of your toothbrush beside your teeth with the bristle tips at a 45 angle against the gumline. Move the brush back and forth in short (half-a-tooth-wide) strokes several times using a gentle “scrubbing” motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gumline. Use the same method on the inside surfaces of all the teeth, still using short back-and-forth strokes. Scrub the chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several gentle up and down strokes with the “toe” Ith front part) of the brush. Brushing your tongue will help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.
- What toothpaste should you use?
Use a fluoride toothpaste or gel. Flouride works in a variety of ways to help reduce the rate of tooth decay. It provides benefits to both children and adults. If you have sensitive teeth caused by receding gums, your dentist may recommend that you use a special toothpaste for a few months to treat this problem. Those toothpastes with the seal of the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Therapeutics have been proved effective. Look for the Council’s seal on the carton or tube.
- Using Floss
Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gumline, areas where your toothbrush can’t reach. Because tooth decay and periodontal disease often start in these areas, its important to clean them thoroughly.
Flossing is a skill that needs to be learned . Don’t be discouraged if you find it difficult at first. With practice, you will find that flossing takes only a few minutes of your time each day. When flossing, follow the instructions given to you by your dentist or dental hygienist.Here are some helpful suggestions:
Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will “take up” the floss as it becomes soiled.Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and fore-fingers with about an inch of floss between them. There should be no slack. Using a gentle sawing tmotion, guide the floss between your teeth. Never “snap” the floss into the gums. When the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth.Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel resistance. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.