Proper Brushing and Flossing Technique

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A smile can light up a room and if you want to be able to do that, you should take care of your teeth. Even if you are lucky and have been blessed with straight white teeth, you want to be able to keep them that way. As long as you are able to brush and floss correctly, you should feel proud of your teeth. First of all, you need to make sure that you have the correct equipment for the job you are about to do as this is vital to allow a proper brushing and flossing technique. Your toothbrush should be correct for the strength of your teeth and then you have to replace them on a regular basis. As soon as the bristles start to get damaged, you should buy a new toothbrush.

If the bristles are too soft and not in the right position, they will not do the job they should do. The toothpaste you use will be important. There are many different types and a lot of them are going to have the same ingredients and therefore do the same job. Often it will come down to the taste you prefer, or just the one that you believe works the best for you. Whichever one you settle on, there should be fluoride in it. The floss will not require as much consideration, as you will get the same results from whichever brand you use. It will be easier to have a holder, especially, if you are not used to using it. If you do not have one, a knot at either end should work until you get one.


The orthodontist or dentist you deal with will be able to give you a lot of advice when it comes to brushing and flossing your teeth. They will give you the following tips for a proper brushing and flossing technique:

  • You need to hold the brush in a particular way. To be able to reach all parts of all of the teeth it needs to be at 45% to the gum line. If you miss part of the teeth, then this is the area where the bacteria will congregate.
  • Brush with a small degree of force but don’t be too vigorous. You need to feel the brush on your gums, but not so much that it hurts or a bristle is able to penetrate the gum. Make sure that the bristles get between the teeth if possible, although obviously it should not be a case of forcing them through.
  • Cover all of the teeth a few times. Cleaning once will get most of the food away, but to work on the plaque and bacteria it will take longer. By going over them a few times, you will pick off the bits that were missed first time. A short motion will be best, and the brush should be moved in a circular motion. The gun line should be covered as well, although not too forcibly.
  • Although the brush should start at 45%, there is no reason why it should not be moved so that it can reach the inside surface area.
  • As the brush should not have too big a head, there are only going to be a couple of teeth that can be brushed at a time. The brush will have to be moved to many locations during the process to make sure that all parts are reached. Try to brush for 2 minutes. It may seem to be a long time, but when you consider the area that needs to be covered, you will realize that you are not spending long on each tooth.
  • If you have a mirror in the bathroom, watch yourself while you are brushing. You will be more aware of the area covered and will be able to see if there are any teeth that are being missed out.
  • Brush your tongue. This is not always going to feel pleasant, but it will be necessary. As long as you don’t brush too far back you should be OK, but you don’t want to start off the gag reflex. Bacteria survive for some time on the taste buds, so you want to get rid of them.

Once you have finished this, you may think that you have done the job and you are going to have perfect teeth. The problem is that the job is only partly done. Most of the bacteria will have gone, but there will always be some that clings on for dear life for as long as possible unless you have a proper brushing and flossing technique. You will get away with this for a short period of time, but to sustain the look you want, you will have to go to stage 2 and start flossing. Again, your dentist will give you advice about the products available and they will give you tips on flossing.


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While you don’t have to go to the trouble of measuring, there are a few guidelines when it comes to the amount of floss that you need to use. When starting, about 18 inches of floss should be used with the majority of it equally wrapped about both middle fingers. There should be around an inch loose, and it is this that you are going to start with. Imagine that this and your hands is a saw. Place the floss between two teeth and start to move backwards and forwards. As you go lower down, you will feel the floss suddenly stop, and this will be because you will have reached the gum.

Now start to move upwards, with the floss set against the tooth. Do this again and again until all teeth have been flossed. When the regime starts, it is likely that it will feel uncomfortable and possible that the gums will bleed. Within the first week all of this should stop, and you will realize that what you have been through was worth it. Finish off with a rinse as this will take away any last bits of food that have remained. If you can maintain this over a period, you will have a healthy happy smile for the rest of your life all thanks to a proper brushing and flossing technique.

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