Brushing and Flossing for a Healthy Smile

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You may have been brushing for so long that it is practically second nature. You get up in the morning, squeeze some toothpaste onto your toothbrush, run it over your teeth and you’re good until bedtime, right?

Well, not exactly. Brushing is a little more involved than that. For example, you may be brushing your teeth twice a day, but are you brushing long enough? To do an effective job, you need to spend two minutes brushing your teeth. Most of us don’t spend nearly enough time brushing, since we may be in a rush to get out the door in the morning, or are tired and are ready to go to bed at night. Try timing yourself to see if you are spending two full minutes scrubbing your teeth. Brushing after meals is a great idea, however you need to wait for about thirty minutes after eating. Doing so will give the saliva in your mouth time to wash away the acids from your food.

Since the fronts of your teeth are easy to see, you will have no trouble accessing them. But remember that you also need to brush the backs, and the chewing and biting surfaces. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and brush away from your gums. Brush your tongue, since it contains bacteria that can cause bad breath. Start at the back of your tongue and work your way forward.

You should floss your teeth at least once a day. It doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first, as long as you do a good job of both. Take 18 inches of floss, and wrap most of it around your middle fingers. Give yourself about two inches to work with. Curve the floss around each tooth, and floss under to gumline. Then floss away from your gums. Start with your back teeth and work your way forward, using a fresh section of floss each time.

If you have questions about brushing and flossing, or if it is time for your routine cleaning and exam, our dentist, Dr. Mandy Nicacio will be happy to help. If you live in the Hermiston, Oregon, area and would like to make an appointment at Hermiston Dental Group, call 541-567-4143 today. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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