Oral Health

How to Brush Your Teeth


The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. You always want to use a soft brush with a small head. A soft brush is hard enough to remove plaque and soft enough not to damage your teeth or gum.
The next issue is to choose a good toothpaste. In general any toothpaste that contains Fluoride will do the job, unless you have a special need that is determined by your dentist. Two of the best brands of toothpastes are Colgate Total and Crest Multicare.

The first rule of brushing is to start from a specific location and work your way to the opposite side and all the way through the whole mouth so that you end where you started. This way you won't miss any area. Also usually a pea size of tooth paste is enough. A good brushing should at lease take 2 minutes and ideally around 4 minutes.

   

There are many different techniques for brushing your teeth but one of the most popular ones is described here:

Hold the brush with a 45 degree angle toward the teeth and the gum. Gently press against the gum so the tips of the bristles go in between the gum and the teeth. Then apply lateral vibration for a few times and roll down the brush to sweep the plaque away from the teeth and the gum. Repeat this motion 6 to 10 times and move on to the next area of 2 to 3 teeth. If your mouth is full of foam, spit out and continue brushing. Your brushing is complete, when you have brushed all the surfaces of your teeth and not when your mouth is full!

   

On chewing surfaces, short strokes will work best to get the plaque out of the grooves and pits. Also when brushing the front teeth from inside, hold your brush vertically to be able to reach the teeth better.

As far as frequency of brushing is concerned, ideally you want to brush your teeth after each meal. But if you can' t, brush at least twice a day once in the morning and once before going to bed.
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How to Floss Your Teeth

The surfaces that are between teeth are not accessible to brush; Therefore, the best way to clean them is with flossing. The frequency of flossing is like brushing and ideally after each meal, though one time a day (before going to bed) is the minimum necessity.

To start, cut a piece of dental floss (approximately 2 feet). Wrap both sides of the floss around your middle fingers. Using your index and thumb move the floss in between all your teeth one by one. When flossing, make sure you are not cutting your gum. The goal is to clean the teeth surfaces and not the gum. In each space in between the teeth, press the floss against each tooth (hug the tooth) and gently move it back and forth and up and down and then move to the opposite surface of the adjacent tooth.
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Other Oral Health Topics
• CDC Oral health center

• American Dental Association