May 2014 Newsletter

Basics of Proper Oral Health

By Kevin Getch  

Do you have concerns that maybe you aren't doing your best to keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible? Maybe it's time to brush up on some of the basics in oral health.

Proper Teeth Brushing

The first step to ensuring oral health is proper teeth brushing. Here are some of the basics of brushing as recommended by the American Dental Association:

Brush your teeth twice a day (at least) - Obviously, we have to brush our teeth in the morning. And while most of us know that brushing before we go to bed is recommended, we don't always follow through. Sometimes we're distracted or just plain tire and forget. But it's important to get into the routine of doing it before you go to bed, and it doesn't hurt to do it midday now and again.

Don't rush your brushing - We live in a fast-paced world, which means often rush our teeth brushing. You want to make sure you take enough time to brush thoroughly. That usually means about two minutes... but don't do it much longer as you can risk causing damage to your gums.

Use proper technique - Hold your toothbrush at about a 45-degree angle on your gumline. The brush should touch both your teeth and the gums. This will help dislodge food from under your gums. Use a short circular motion.

Use the right the stuff - The American Dental Association recommends that everyone uses toothpaste with fluoride and a soft-bristled toothbrush. An electric or battery-operated toothbrush can help ensure that you don't brush too heavily.

Keep your toothbrush clean - Rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing and store it in an upright position to allow it to air dry. Try to keep your toothbrush in the open as much as you can, since closed containers will bacteria growth possible.

Keep up with toothbrush replacement - You should replace your toothbrush about every three months. But it's more important to use visual cues - if the bristles start to fray, do it sooner.

Flossing Essential to Oral Health

Flossing is just as important to your oral health as brushing your teeth. Unfortunately, far fewer people floss than brush. The toothbrush can't reach far enough under the gums to reach food that, if left to sit, can cause gum disease. Here are some important pointers for proper flossing:

Don't cut you floss short - If you break off floss too short, you can't get proper control and will get frustrated and the very least, not get the job done correctly. Measure about 18 inches of dental floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand, and the rest around the other. There should be about an inch of floss for your teeth.

Take it one tooth at a time - Be sure to rub the floss against all side of your teeth. It's tempting to rush through and hit a few teeth and be done, but don't skip any teeth unless those are one's you feel you can do without!

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