We hope you care about maintaining healthy teeth. Maintaining healthy teeth is part of maintaining a healthy smile and contributes to your overall health. There are some simple steps for you to keep in mind.
Toothbrushing is one of the most important aspects of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Toothbrushing is responsible for keeping about 20-25% of your mouth clean. It is important for cleaning the biting surfaces of your teeth, and the cheek side and tongue side of your teeth. It is best to use a soft bristle toothbrush when brushing. The most effective method of toothbrushing is called The Modified Bass Brushing Technique. The toothbrush bristles are vibrated under the gums (there’s a space between the gums and the teeth), and the toothbrush is held at a 45 degree angle. It is a very effective method for removing plaque and food particles at the gumline. For people who have problems with dexterity, an electric toothbrush may be more effective. A good indication that you need a new toothbrush is when the toothbrush bristles bend or every 2-3 months – whichever comes first. If you use toothpaste, use a pea sized amount, and brush the biting surfaces first to avoid the abrasiveness of the toothpaste being placed at the gumline of the teeth, where the enamel is thinner.
Brushing twice a day, once in the morning and once before bedtime is suggested. Three times a day (or after meals would be ideal, but who lives in an ideal world?!). If you can’t brush after every meal, swish water in your mouth and then spit it out or swallow it after meals. If you only brush once daily, do it at night before you go to sleep to get the most benefit because it causes much greater damage to go to sleep without brushing because we are not clearing out anything in our mouths while sleeping and food and bacteria left behind are left to do damage totally undisturbed.
Flossing protects the sides of your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach, and that accounts for the other 75-80% of your mouth that requires cleaning.
The simplicity of maintaining healthy teeth depends on daily brushing and flossing. The hard part is doing it, so get to work (please)!
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