By the time you become an adult, chances are you’ve been brushing (and hopefully also flossing!) your teeth under your own steam for at least a decade or more. So it may come as a surprise to learn that you might not be doing it correctly! Yet that’s the case for plenty of adults all over the country. And while you may be doing a great job of brushing and flossing regularly, there may still be things that you can do to improve your daily oral hygiene regimen. So here are a few tips from your Kansas City family dentist to help you brush and floss more effectively, whether you’ve been brushing and flossing for years or are just introducing the youngest members of the family to brushing on their own:
- When it comes to toothpaste, more isn’t always better. In fact, it only takes about a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to properly clean your teeth. More important than how much toothpaste you use is choosing a toothpaste that contains the fluoride you need to help protect your teeth against cavities and decay.
- While many people already know that the recommended minimum time for brushing your teeth is two full minutes, studies have found that lots of people don’t brush that long. A good way to keep track of the time is to invest in an electric toothbrush such as a Sonicare, which actually tracks brushing time and lets you know when two minutes are up. But remember that two minutes is the minimum, not the maximum, and many dental health professionals recommend brushing even longer.
- The angle is everything. When brushing, try to keep the bristles of your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gumline. Many people’s natural inclination is to brush straight across the surface of their teeth, but that doesn’t adequately address the gumline or particulate matter that may be trapped between the teeth and gums.
- The most neglected area of the mouth is the inside bottom of the front teeth. It can be difficult to reach and all-too-easy to skip, but it’s important to get to those hard-to-reach areas. To make sure that you’re brushing adequately, try to brush each tooth individually, and work your way from the top to the bottom and from the back to the front.
- Of course, flossing is every bit as important as brushing, and if you’re brushing three times a day but only flossing once or twice a week, then you’re not doing enough to take care of your teeth and gums. Flossing every day is just as vital to your oral hygiene as brushing your teeth.
- Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three or four months. If you’re going to be improving your brushing game, then you need to make sure that you’ve got a good toothbrush to do the job.
No matter how well you brush and floss, though, it doesn’t take the place of bi-annual dental checkups with your Kansas City family dentist. Call (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment with Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City, MO today!