Patient Education

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What Is the Right Way to Brush?

Proper brushing takes at least two minutes — that’s right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use small circular motions, angling the toothbrush bristles 45° toward the gum-line, and concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:

  • Clean the outer surfaces of your lower teeth, then follow around to the inner surfaces of the lower teeth
  • Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then follow around to the inner surfaces of the upper teeth
  • Clean the chewing surfaces
  • For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too

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Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline using a circular motion

Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.

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Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

At Dental Loving Care we believe a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity.

How Important is the Toothpaste I Use?

It is important that you use a toothpaste that’s right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpaste designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. Ask Dr Osie or Tia which toothpaste is right for you.

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. Our hygienist Tia will provide you with a new toothbrush when you come for your 6 monthly continuing care appointments.

What is the Right Way to Floss?

Proper flossing removes plaque  and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gum-line and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended.

To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:

  • Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
  • Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue
  • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  • To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.

Use about 18″ of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.

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Gently follow the curves of your teeth.

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Be sure to clean beneath the gum-line, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.