Many people take for granted the task of brushing and flossing. Not many people realize the importance of proper brushing in the prevention of gum disease. Poor oral health has been recently found to cause serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, chronic kidney disease and even diabetes. Gum disease may cause a person to have bad breath, red, swollen and bleeding gums, receding gum line, tooth sensitivity, tooth abscess, tooth mobility and tooth loss. This is why regular brushing must be instilled early in life.
Always ensure to follow proper steps on how to brush your teeth efficiently. Incorrect brushing techniques cannot only damage the gums, it can also cause tooth abrasion, which can lead to sensitivity. Choose a soft or extra soft bristled toothbrush to avoid gums from bleeding. An electric toothbrush is also efficient in removing food particles and plaque because of its oscillating motion. Use ADA-accepted toothpaste with fluoride. Brush at least twice a day or every after meal. Make sure to replace toothbrush every three to four months. Frayed bristles will not be able to clean teeth effectively. Ideally, brushing time is at least two minutes.
However, brushing cannot fully clean teeth especially in-between and below the gum line. It would be best to use an inter-dental cleaner such as floss picks every day to remove food particles and bacteria that may cause tooth decay. Floss helps clean the areas where toothbrush cannot reach. Antimicrobial mouth rinses can also help kill bacteria and stop dental plaque from progressing. It also helps prevent gingivitis from forming. There are special mouth rinses containing fluoride and they are found to work effectively if used together with fluoride-containing toothpastes. Always eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Make it a point to visit a dentist at least twice a year for check-up and professional cleaning services.
Proper brushing techniques should be exercised at all times. Position the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Brush the outer and inner surfaces of the inner teeth (molars and pre-molars) using gentle up and down motions. Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth using circular motions. The inner surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth should be cleaned using the tip of the brush in a flicking motion from the gum line and away. Each motion should be done for at least 10 seconds. Do not forget to brush your tongue to help remove bacteria in the surface. It helps freshens breath too.
Dental floss can be quite difficult to handle. It would be easier to use floss picks for easy gripping. Use a Y-shaped floss pick for the upper teeth. Meanwhile, use an F-shaped floss pick for lower teeth. When using floss, slide it gently in-between teeth to prevent gums from bleeding. Move the floss in an up and down motion and away from the gum. Repeat until all spaces in between teeth are covered. Following these steps on how to brush your teeth combined with proper flossing techniques will ensure a healthy set of teeth for a long time and possibly for a lifetime.