Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques

Wellspring Dental

Our teeth play a crucial role in our daily lives, and it’s important to make sure you’re taking the best care of them by keeping tartar buildup and gum disease away.

Believe it or not, there are proper techniques to flossing and brushing your teeth – are you using them? How do you know? Read our quick guide on proper brushing and flossing techniques below to find out and learn a few tips along the way to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Starting Off: Should I Floss or Brush First?

We recommend flossing before you brush your teeth rather than flossing after you brush your teeth. Why? Flossing helps loosen food and plaque stuck between your teeth which can then be brushed away. Flossing also has been known to result in greater fluoride retention in-between teeth than when the process is reversed.

The Best Brushing and Flossing Techniques

Flossing and brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day helps remove plaque and bacteria that form both on the teeth and around your gum line. If these elements are not brushed and flossed away regularly, the buildup of plaque can cause cavities, bad breath, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. In order to protect your mouth from tooth decay and gum disease, we recommend you follow these steps: 

Step 1: Floss your teeth

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your fingers. Guide the floss in between your teeth using a rubbing motion and once you hit the top of your tooth, bend it in a “C” shape against one tooth and slide it against each side. Repeat for each tooth using a clean section of floss.

Step 2: Start brushing the outer surfaces of your teeth

Apply toothpaste to the head of your toothbrush and gently brush your upper and lower teeth. 

Step 3: Tilt your toothbrush

Tilt your toothbrush at an angle and brush against your gum line to remove lingering food debris and trapped plaque. Use short, gentle strokes and move your brush back and forth to clean the entire tooth.

Step 4: Brush the inner surfaces of your teeth

Now that you’ve cleaned the outer surfaces of your teeth, it’s time to move onto the inner surfaces! Use the same angle as the previous step and move your brush back and forth to clean the inside (behind) surfaces of each tooth.

Step 5: Brush your chewing surfaces

Now it’s time to clean the chewing surfaces of each tooth! Using gentle back and forth strokes, brush the tops of the back of your teeth thoroughly on the top and bottom of your mouth.

Step 6: Clean your tongue

Now that your teeth have been brushed, it’s time to brush your tongue – this is key to helping you achieve fresh breath. Again, using a gentle motion, brush across your tongue to remove any additional bacteria.

Bonus Tip: Use mouthwash

To make sure your mouth is clean and your breath is fresh, we recommend finishing up your oral health routine by rinsing with a mouthwash! 

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