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A Guide to Great Teeth: 10 Tips for Perfect Brushing and Flossing!

By Jill Feilmeier on May 22, 2012 in Dental Health

Women sitting in dentist chair about to get her teeth flossed by the dentist

Everyone has a different morning routine. Some people jump out of bed right after the alarm goes off; other people hit the snooze button three times before rising. Some people shower first thing in the morning; other people eat breakfast first. No matter what your usual morning routine is, there are two things that should be included in everyone's morning ritual: brushing and flossing your teeth.

The two easiest ways to keep your teeth healthy also contribute to other benefits. I mean, who really wants to smell your morning breath (ew!). What many people don't know about brushing and flossing is that technique is the key to avoiding dental cavities. If you brush twice a day but are missing most of the debris in your mouth because of bad technique, you will be mighty disappointed at your next dental visit. Below is a list of advice to make sure you are brushing and flossing your teeth effectively!

  1. Use a soft-bristled brush that reaches all areas easily.
  2. Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes.
  3. Make sure to brush each surface of every tooth – inside, outside and top. Spend extra time on the gum line.
  4. Use the end of your toothbrush to clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth.
  5. Brush your tongue to keep your breath smelling good and remove bacteria.
  6. Use about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one finger. The short-end of the floss should be wrapped around a finger on your opposite hand to collect the floss as you use it.
  7. Ease the floss between your teeth with a gentle rubbing motion. You will be sorry if it snaps into your gums!
  8. At the gum line, curve the floss around one tooth and gently rub the floss up and
    down the side of the tooth.
  9. Repeat with each tooth, including the back sides of your end teeth.
  10. If you have a hard time using string floss, ask your dentist to recommend a different gum-cleaning option for you.

If you follow the above suggestions, you will be your dentist's new favorite patient! Remember, good oral health care contributes to good overall health, so care for your teeth today and every day.

If any of our readers have other tips for good brushing, feel free to leave them in the comments!