Any at-home oral hygiene routine should incorporate regular teeth brushing and flossing. Our dentists in Vancouver offer tips on how often to brush and floss your teeth.
Preventive hygiene plays an integral role when it comes to maintaining your oral health. While you schedule regular dental exams and cleanings at your dentist's office, maybe you're a bit unsure how often you really need to brush, floss and practice regular oral health care at home.
During every visit, your dentist will remind you that brushing and flossing is important to preventing gum disease and tooth decay. These two elements of your oral health care routine also help to eliminate bacteria that lead to plaque and tooth decay, and later gum disease.
In this post, our dentists will explain how often you should brush and give tips on proper techniques.
Reliable Brushing & Flossing Techniques
If you follow these techniques and perform them consistently, you'll be on your way to great oral health.
Clean each surface of every one of your mouth's teeth, including the chewing surface, cheek side and tongue side. Brush in a sweeping motion at a 45-degree angle. On upper teeth, use a downward sweeping motion. When you get to your lower teeth, use an upward sweeping motion. Brush back and forth on chewing surfaces only.
Ideally, you should brush after each meal for two minutes each time (no longer than four minutes). Wait at least 30 minutes after you eat to brush. At the very least, we recommend brushing twice per day and always before bedtime. You might want to try setting a timer to ensure your brushing routine is long enough.
Floss at least once every day, preferably before you go to bed in the evening. When you floss, you'll dislodge buildup and debris from food between your teeth in places you are unable to reach with your toothbrush. Insert the string of floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a "c" shape in both directions. Take this action slowly and thoroughly, and ensure you floss between every two teeth.
Professional Dental Cleanings & Exams
Visiting your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exam is essential to maintaining your oral health.
Your dentist has the tools and knowledge needed to remove tartar and plaque buildup that you'll be unable to remove yourself by brushing and flossing.
During these visits, your dentist will also be able to detect dental problems in their early stages if they see you on a regular basis, and treat them before they develop into bigger issues.
Oral health problems such as cavities, gum disease and even tumors, cysts and various abnormalities are often not noticeable to the untrained eye (even a patient's own eye) in their early stages, so it's important to have a dental professional assess your mouth regularly.