How to Avoid Oral Health Problems with Proper Brushing and Flossing

Our dentist in Scarborough wants to make sure you’ve been cleaning your teeth correctly!

Oral healthcare maintenance

A healthy smile requires diligent oral health care maintenance consisting of twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing. But it’s important to note that the way in which a person brushes and flosses matters greatly, as well.

Have you been brushing and flossing correctly?

Our Scarborough dentist has some tips on how to ensure you’re getting the most complete (and gentle) clean:

1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush:

Since toothbrushes with hard bristles can be abrasive on the teeth and gums, it’s important to make sure you’re always using a soft-bristled toothbrush (and also brushing gently) when you clean your teeth.

2. Brush for at least two minutes each session:

Don’t rush when you brush! For the most effective clean, you should be brushing for at least two minutes (160 seconds) twice a day.

3. Use a fluoridated toothpaste, ideally:

Toothpaste that contains fluoride actually helps to protect the teeth from decay and cavities, and is completely safe to use provided none of the paste is swallowed. Be sure to avoid rinsing afterward, though, because washing away the trace amounts of fluoride from the mouth will defeat the purpose.

4. Floss before brushing:

By flossing before brushing, you’ll first be releasing food particles and bacteria from in between the teeth that you can then brush away. If you brush first and floss second, you’ll be finishing your cleaning session with released debris from in between your teeth. Floss first!

5. Be sure to bring your floss below the gum line:

For a proper flossing technique, curve your floss in a “C”-shape around each side of each tooth, bringing it down below the gum line and up in a gentle zig-zag motion, being sure to use a fresh section of floss each time.

6. Don’t forget to clean that tongue:

Your tongue is like a carpet that attracts and holds onto bacteria like it’s being payed to do so! For that reason, make sure you give your tongue a daily clean by using a tongue scraper or your tooth brush, dragging the device from the back to the front of the tongue and rinsing off each time until clean.

What can happen if a person neglects their daily oral care routine?

There are many oral health risks associated with neglecting daily oral health care maintenance, or routine check-ups and cleanings (which are recommended at 6-month intervals or whenever a visit is necessary). These risks include:

Gum Disease: When the teeth aren’t regularly cleaned of plaque and tartar build-up, this increases a person’s risk for gum disease. Common symptoms of gum disease include gums that bleed easily with cleaning, tenderness, redness and bad breath.

Tooth Decay: The beginning stage of tooth decay exhibits no warning signs, often until it’s too late and a large cavity filling or restoration is required. Or if tooth decay is severe enough, this opens up another risk…

Root infection: Once tooth decay penetrates through both the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, it infects the root – in which a root canal procedure would be required to treat. But sometimes, so much damage has been done that it results in…

Tooth loss: Both severe decay and advanced gum disease can lead to total loss of the tooth if oral health has been neglected for long enough.

Time for another routine check-up and cleaning at our Scarborough dental clinic?

We’d be happy to see you! Do what’s best for your smile and schedule a visit at Dentistry in Scarborough today.

Keeping your teeth healthy

dental cleaning, oral health maintenance

Our Scarborough dental office uses specialized instruments to gently remove harmful deposits without harming your teeth.