brushing and flossingLast week, we discussed the importance of knowing when to replace your toothbrush. Similarly, it is important to reassess your brushing and flossing techniques to ensure your efforts are efficient as well as effective. By practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis, you are helping minimize the chances of experiencing tooth decay and the subsequent need for serious dental procedures. In today’s blog, your Newport Beach, CA, dentist provides suggestions on how you can improve your brushing and flossing to make sure you maintain a healthy and radiant smile for years to come.

A Brushing Refresher

Your childhood dentist likely instilled in you the importance of brushing twice a day. This is the baseline, and it is important to stick to this — if nothing else. In addition to this frequency, you should be doing it for at least two minutes each time. It is easy to assume you are hitting this mark, but if you time yourself, you may be surprised that you are brushing for less time. With this in mind, it is helpful to set a timer on your phone for a while, so you get a feel for what two minutes feels like. If you have an electronic toothbrush, there is probably a built-in timer, so you should defer to this. 

While you want to brush the fronts of your teeth for a brighter smile, you also need to be sure to reach all sides of each tooth, as well as your gums. Sticking to a regular and thorough habit minimizes the likelihood of you needing restorative or cosmetic procedures to fix the damage that can be caused by decay, like cavities.

Don’t Forget About Flossing

We understand that flossing is easy to overlook, but it is crucial that you do it at least once a day. Most people choose to do so at night, and this is a good idea because you are removing any trapped food particles before they have the chance to linger between your teeth as you sleep. Bits of food can cause bacterial build-up, so you want to remove them as soon as possible. For the best technique start with about 18 inches of floss, and wind most of it around your fingers, leaving a couple of inches exposed. When you are doing it, be sure to curve the floss around the base of each tooth, and make sure you go beneath the gum line. As you go from tooth to tooth, you should use new, clean sections so you aren’t just putting whatever you removed back in your mouth. While you want to remove as much as you can, do not be too aggressive. 

This is also a good time to check for any abnormalities in your mouth — especially in your gums. Lesions and abrasions are common signs of oral cancer and other diseases, and the time your practice your regular preventative care is a good opportunity to inspect.

Contact Us For More Tips And Suggestions

No matter what you need, we are here to help. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Balboa Dental Surgery in Newport Beach, CA, today at 949-630-0143.