A Guide to Proper Brushing and Flossing from the Dentist Carrollton Prefers

August 19, 2015

Many patients are missing out on the full benefit of brushing and flossing because they haven’t made changes to their oral health care routine since they were children. Imagine what would happen if you utilized the same hygiene routines from your childhood to care for your whole body. If that seems ridiculous, why would caring for fully developed adult teeth the same way you cared for developing dentition make any more sense? At the Carrollton, TX dental practice of Dr. Henry A. Campbell, we’re here to help our patients develop an optimal at-home care routine for their smile. When it comes to a great oral hygiene routine, every smile is different, but we can all benefit from getting back to the basics. If you want to find out more about caring for your smile, call to schedule a hygiene appointment today.

Brushing Basics

When it comes to effective brushing remember the rule of twos. You should brush at least two times each day for at least two minutes at a time. Another often overlooked brushing basic is toothbrush storage and replacement. Even the most thorough tooth brushing can be ineffective if you aren’t using the right equipment. Make sure you store your toothbrush upright with the head at the top so water runs off of the bristles avoiding bacterial and fungal growth. Additionally, replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months or after you have been ill. This goes for electric toothbrush heads as well.

There are numerous brushing techniques that can improve your dental care results, and the right method for you may depend on your smile shape and size and level of dexterity. If you’re still utilizing simple, flat-bristled back and forth or circular brush strokes, you are likely not cleaning your teeth and gums as thoroughly as you could be. Ask Tiffany, our hygienist, for recommendations on brushing styles at your next appointment, and in the meantime consider using the Bass method for a better clean.

The Bass brushing method:

  1. Place bristles of a soft or ultra-soft bristled brush at a 45 degree angle at the gum line on the front-facing surface of teeth.
  2. Keeping the bristles stationary, move the toothbrush quickly back and forth creating a vibrating motion to loosen plaque and food particles.
  3. After 10 seconds shift the toothbrush to the next tooth.
  4. Continue for front-facing and rear-facing surfaces of teeth.
  5. For biting surfaces place the tooth brush flat against the tooth and vibrate back and forth for 10 seconds per tooth until completed.
  6. Always remember to gently brush tongue, palate, and gum tissue.

Flossing Fundamentals

Unlike brushing, flossing doesn’t have the appeal of “instant gratification.” After brushing, teeth feel and look better, encouraging patients to keep brushing. Flossing does not benefit from this immediate improvement. Instead, many patients find their teeth and gums are sensitive after flossing, and that loosening bacteria and food particles can leave them with a bitter taste in their mouth. However, if patients are dedicated to flossing once a day, they begin to see the positive effects like healthier gums, better breath, and cleaner looking and feeling teeth. Additionally, patients who floss regularly typically do not need to spend as much time in the dental chair during their cleanings because teeth remain healthier between hygiene appointments. When it comes to flossing there are just a few fundamentals to keep in mind:

  • Be gentle. Soft tissue is sensitive, and aggressive flossing damages your gums making brushing, flossing, and chewing uncomfortable.
  • Be thorough. Make sure you clean between each tooth all the way below the gum line on both sides. To get below the gum line, shape the floss like a ‘C’ around the front and back of the tooth.
  • Be consistent. The more you floss, the better your teeth and gums will feel and the more you will want to floss.

Caring for Teeth with the General Dentist Carrollton, TX Turns To

No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, regular visits to Dr. Campbell’s Carrollton dental practice are essential. Professional cleanings from our hygienist removes stuck on tartar that regular brushing and flossing cannot eliminate, and Dr. Campbell screens for any early warning signs of tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ dysfunction, bruxism (grinding and clenching of teeth), and oral cancer. Early detection of oral health concerns allows our team to treat and restore your smile quickly and effectively.

Call the Family Dentist Carrollton, TX Relies On

Whatever your dental health care needs, Dr. Campbell and his team are here to help you get the most beautiful smile possible with great preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. Call to find out more about our dental care options or schedule an appointment today. Our Carrollton, TX office welcomes patients from nearby Lewisville, Richardson, Plano, and surrounding areas as well.

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