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March 25 2012

Tips For Proper Teeth Brushing And General Oral Care

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You’ve been told since you were a little kid – brush your teeth twice a day – and while you’re at it, don’t forget to floss. Perhaps by now you’ve made that process automatic, but family dental services providers have some tips for successful teeth brushing at any age.

But first, why are proper brushing and basic oral hygiene so important, aside from having a fresh, clean tasting mouth for your sweetheart? Here are a few more motivators:

  • Avoid gingivitis, an inflammatory condition of the gums, which can lead to tooth loss and infection. Left untreated, gum infections may even lead to heart disease.
  • Eliminate plaque, a deposit of bacteria on the surface of the teeth.
  • Prevent cavities.

Perhaps the most important two minutes of your day are the minutes spent brushing your pearly whites. That’s right – proper brushing requires two minutes, two times a day. Kids are often advised to sing Happy Birthday twice or to use musical electric toothbrushes. Singing your favorite rock anthem or setting a timer can work for your adult self. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in electronic timers.

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So, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently (no harsh scrubbing required – in fact, too much pressure can damage your gum area) brush your front and back teeth, in front as well as behind, using special care at the hard to reach areas. If you have any bridges or crowns, you may want to adjust your brushing to take good care of them.

A great final grooming habit is to brush your tongue. This certainly freshens your mouth, but also helps to sweep out additional bacteria or food debris. And in the words of many a late night infomercial – “But wait, there’s more!”

The more is flossing your teeth to get what the brush misses. Tear off around 18 inches of this special tape and loop a three-inch portion around both of your index fingers. Now, again, carefully, insert it in between each tooth and work your way through your entire set of teeth. Ensure both sides of all the teeth are flossed.

Your toothbrush should be somewhat soft and have a relatively small head to make it easier to reach all the nooks and crannies in your mouth. A power toothbrush often makes it much simpler to get the job done right, especially for people with dexterity issues or people who are in the habit of brushing their teeth too hard.

As for toothpaste, there is a plethora of options, including special formulas for whitening, sensitive teeth, or treatment for early gingivitis. Your choice is best determined by a discussion with your dentist or hygienist.

Today’s dental care ads are studded with buzzwords like cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry, and it’s helpful to know these services are available, possibly from your family dentist. Here’s another – do-it-yourself dentistry. The only tools you will need are your trusty toothbrush and your fancy floss.

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