Brushing & Flossing

Brushing

Use a small strip of fluoride toothpaste on a toothbrush with soft bristles. When brushing teeth, small circular motions should be used in order to reach food particles that may have gotten under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle. You should brush slowly and carefully to cover all areas between your teeth as well as the surface of each tooth. Brush down on the upper teeth as well as on the outside, inside, and chewing surface of all of the front and back teeth; brush up on the lower teeth. Your tongue and the roof of your mouth should also get a good brushing before you rinse. This process will take several minutes to thoroughly clean the teeth.

To avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque, teeth should be brushed four times daily at the following times:
-In the morning, after breakfast
-After lunch or school
-After dinner
-Before bed

Replace your toothbrush with a new one as soon as you notice that the bristles have started to wear down or fray. Be careful to never swallow any toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after brushing.

Flossing

There are areas in between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. For these, dental floss must be used to remove food particles along with plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that can be used to reach below the gum line and between teeth.

Start with a small length of floss. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers and guide it between all teeth all the way to the gum line. Use the floss to pull out any food particles and plaque. Unwrap clean floss from your fingers as you go, so that you will have used the entire length from beginning to end. Be sure to also floss behind the back teeth.

Floss at night before brushing to make sure that your teeth are squeaky clean when you go to bed. When you first begin to floss, your gums may bleed a bit. If this does not stop after a few times, let a staff member know at your next dental appointment.

For optimal oral hygiene, be sure to brush and floss daily.