Preventive care is crucial, and the most important preventive care is your daily oral hygiene routine! At Brimhall Dentistry, the office of Nick Schulte, DDS – your St. Paul, MN dentist, we want to make sure that you are getting the very most out of your home care routine.
We see many patients who insist that they brush and floss every day, but their teeth tell a different story. This is most certainly not to say that they aren’t telling the truth! They could, however, improve their techniques and get much better results.
Proper Brushing Technique
The brush you choose matters. If you are scrubbing hard with a medium- or firm-bristled toothbrush, you could be doing a lot of damage to your enamel or fragile gum tissue. This leads to gum recession and openings for bacteria.
Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush. When you are brushing, think of the motion as a “massage” rather than a scrub. Use a gentle circular motion to clean each tooth, front and back, and angle your brush at 45° to give your gums a gentle cleaning.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. If you find that you tend to rush, consider setting a timer or downloading an app on your smartphone. Many apps are available that don’t just time your brushing but also signal you as to how long you should spend on each quadrant of your mouth.
Before you are done brushing, give your tongue a gentle cleaning too. This helps get rid of built-up traces of food and bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Flossing is also important. Your brush can’t fit into the small spaces between your teeth, but food particles and bacteria can. Floss helps to clear away these particles and the plaque that can develop to prevent gum disease and cavities between your teeth.
Use about a two-foot long length of floss. Wrap and end around your middle finger on each hand. Using your index finger, gently guide the floss between your teeth and slide it up and down, making sure to dip into the gum tissue just a bit. Don’t yank or snap the floss since this could injure your gums and cause you to miss bits of plaque. Work your way around your mouth, moving the floss so you are constantly working with a clean area.
Need Extra Guidance?
That’s what we’re here for! We are always happy to provide hands-on help and teach you the very best ways to brush and floss your teeth. We can also recommend products that can help you improve your home care (such as electric toothbrushes, which are a great choice for anyone with reduced mobility or arthritis).
Contact Our St. Paul Dental Clinic
Give us a call today to schedule your next cleaning and check-up!