From childhood, most of us learn about the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth. We tend to learn it the way that we learn most things, which is through imitation. Unfortunately our parents have their own individual habits, and they may not have shown us the best way to brush and floss our teeth. These incorrect techniques can cause damage, if left unchecked. Of course, it’s never too late to start practicing better habits. Plus, getting it right this time means you can help create new and better habits for your children to imitate. Answer the questions below, and begin your journey to better dental health today:
Are you brushing correctly?
- Are you using toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride?
- Do you immediately rinse your mouth after brushing?
- Are you using the firmest brush you could buy?
Most dentists indicate that it’s important to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and to take time when brushing and rinsing so that you don’t immediately rinse it away. They also recommend using a gentle brush and gentle brushing techniques to avoid damaging your gums or teeth.
Are you flossing correctly?
- Do you floss, even when there is nothing stuck between your teeth?
- Do you snap the floss against your gums, hurting them in the process?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you are flossing incorrectly, and if you continue to do so you can actually cause your gums to recede, creating a small permanent gap between your teeth called an interproximal triangle. These areas trap food, which will only make your dental problems worse. So, how can you floss correctly? Only do it when necessary, and make sure you do it slowly and gently to avoid causing pain and damage.
These are very broad guidelines and no doubt will not apply to everyone. It’s good to use this as a starting point and of course, to ask your dentist more questions about the best way to go about brushing and flossing during one of your regular check-ups.