A dynamic duo. Combining flossing and tooth-brushing to thoroughly remove plaque each day will help prevent cavities and gum disease. It doesn’t matter whether you floss or brush first; what matters is that you remove the plaque.
Good daily oral hygiene practices are just as important for your oral health as regular dental checkups. Brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and gum disease, which is caused by your teeth’s most persistent enemy, plaque — a sticky, colorless, invisible film of harmful bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day.
You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day. If you can brush your teeth after every meal, that’s even better. Keep a toothbrush at work so you can brush after lunch.
What’s the best toothbrush? The requirements for a good toothbrush are simple:
• it should bear the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp of approval (found on the package);
• its head should fit easily into your mouth;
• it should be labeled “soft” and have round-ended bristles to prevent damage to teeth and gums.
An electric toothbrush may help those who have difficulty brushing their teeth, but a regular toothbrush can clean teeth just as well.
Technique tips. When you brush, you should keep the bristles angled against the gumline and brush along the gumline and the inner and outer surfaces of each tooth. You should finish by brushing your tongue, which helps remove bacteria from your mouth. You can find more helpful tips on how to brush and floss properly in the Oral Health section of our web site.
How important is flossing? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begins. Make sure to floss at least once a day, preferably before bed, to clean the places where a toothbrush can’t reach.
The truth about toothpaste.Tartar control. Baking soda. Whitening action. How do you choose the one that’s most effective? The truth is that as long as your toothpaste contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of approval, the brand or extra features you choose don’t really matter.