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Proper Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing are simple daily practices that a surprising number of us are not performing correctly. By choosing the right tools and using them properly, you can minimize your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, which can require costly dental care. Dr. Stephen E. Rogers in Long Island, NY, invites you to learn proper brushing and flossing techniques. Along with your six-month checkups, these techniques can help keep your smile healthy and attractive for years to come.

Brushing Tips

You should brush at least twice a day. Ideally, you should brush after each meal. When brushing is not possible after eating, we recommend that you rinse thoroughly with water or mouth rinse. This will help remove sugar and other food debris while diluting the acidic bacterial toxins that begin to form immediately after eating. 

Although it may seem that hard brush bristles would be most effective, the truth is that soft-bristled toothbrushes are the best choice for many reasons. Studies have demonstrated that brushing with hard bristles can contribute to gum tissue recession and tooth wear. Meanwhile, toothpaste should contain fluoride and be relatively nonabrasive. Gel toothpaste tends to be the least abrasive.

When brushing, patients should avoid using a horizontal back-and-forth sawing motion. This approach tends to overbrush some areas and completely miss others. A circular or up-and-down motion applying minimal pressure is best, and you should spend at least two minutes brushing the front, back, and chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Don't Forget the Floss

woman using dental flossFlossing is an equally important part of any dental homecare routine, and it should be performed at least once a day. Dental floss is a simple and effective means of removing plaque that forms between the teeth, both above and below the gum line. Toothbrushes alone are not as effective in removing plaque from these areas.

Once the floss is between the teeth, it should be used to scrub the surface areas. Again, an up-and-down motion is more effective than a back-and-forth sawing movement. The floss should be extended as far below the gum line as possible without causing discomfort. Once the tooth surfaces have been scrubbed clean, the floss can be threaded out from between the two teeth and moved to the next area. You should also floss below the gumline of the backmost teeth.

Along with your six-month checkups, these techniques can help keep your smile healthy and attractive for years to come.

Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Daily brushing and flossing are very important, but a visit to the dentist every six months is equally essential. Even the most dedicated brushing and flossing cannot eliminate the risks of developing oral health issues. By taking excellent care of your teeth and visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you can minimize risks and receive prompt treatment in the earliest stages of any oral health complications that develop. Excellent oral health has also been found to contribute to your overall health, making daily oral hygiene and regular checkups a simple way to avoid many health issues.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have questions about how to improve your brushing and flossing techniques, or if you are not currently visiting a dentist every six months, we want to be your source for outstanding oral health care. Contact us online or call (516) 468-7103 to schedule a consultation.

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