Brushing and flossing are easy to do, and easy not to do. If part of your daily routine, you'll be protecting your smile and oral health.
What is a movie without popcorn, or a county fair without cotton candy? Did you know that immediately after you have enjoyed your favorite drink or food, bacteria adheres to the enamel of your teeth or seeps and wedges into your gum line? When not properly removed, the bacteria produce plaque, a colorless, acid-producing film that causes periodontal disease. It is extremely important that you develop a purposeful brushing routine to remove the plaque and lessen the chances of developing cavities or gum disease. With that said, it is okay to have your popcorn or cotton candy; just know your most effective, first-step dental care that you can achieve at home is proper, purposeful brushing. The dentist at The Mount Pleasant Dentist, can instruct you on proper brushing methods and preferred oral care products.
When you visit The Mount Pleasant Dentist's office, Dr. Jesse Taylor or his trained staff evaluates your dental needs and determines the preferred toothbrush you should use. Most times, they will recommend you use a brush with soft, rounded or polished bristles, which are less likely to damage your gums or the surface of your tooth. Toothpaste? It does not take much: an amount equal to the size of a small pea will do. Hold your toothbrush at a right angle at your gum line on the outer surface of your teeth. Purposefully, apply a small amount of pressure as you brush in a circular motion rotating the bristles between the teeth. You will use this same method of brushing for the inner surfaces of your back teeth. When brushing the inside of the upper and lower front teeth, vertical strokes work best. Use vertical strokes over each tooth, remembering to focus on the gum line and spaces between your teeth.
For the top of your teeth – your biting surfaces – use short, gentle strokes. Apply a purposeful back-and-forth motion, removing food particles you dislodged by purposefully brushing between your teeth and at the gum line.
With the brushing complete, you now need to rinse your mouth to remove any plaque or food particles you dislodged while brushing. Additionally, you will want to rinse your toothbrush meticulously with tap water to remove any lingering toothpaste or food fragments. Store your toothbrush in an upright position away from other toothbrushes in an open space. The Mount Pleasant Dentist warns that over used toothbrushes cannot purposefully clean your teeth and in fact, may injure your gums: therefore, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
When you follow Dr. Jesse Taylor's purposeful method of brushing your teeth as described above, you have taken the first steps to complete, at-home dental care.
Regrettably, Dr. Jesse Taylor will tell you that brushing alone is not enough. Brushing, by itself, cannot reach the hard, in-between surfaces of your teeth or the deep, down plaque or food particles hidden beneath your gum line. When not tended to, the trapped germs can create tooth decay and periodontal disease; hence, along with the purposefully brushing of your teeth daily, you must purposefully floss daily. The Mount Pleasant Dentist can show you how to floss correctly for your best results. With a bit of practice, you will discover flossing only requires a few added extra minutes to your daily dental care routine.
As The Mount Pleasant Dentist will tell you, flossing is to get into the spaces where your toothbrush cannot. Dental floss, composed of nylon, can be waxed, un-waxed, or woven with a fluoride mixture. Also available is a more expensive, shred-resistant, single filament floss that slides easily between teeth with extremely tight spaces. Both types of floss are effective at removing plaque and debris. When in doubt which type of floss will work best for you, Dr. Jesse Taylor or his dental hygienist can assess your teeth and make the proper recommendation.
To start your purposeful flossing, take approximately an 18-inch piece of floss and lightly wrap most of it around the middle finger of one of your hands. Position the remaining floss around the middle finger of your other hand.
Routinely, you should begin with your upper teeth. Hold the floss between your thumb and index finger; then, gently insert the floss between your teeth moving in a sawing motion. When you are down to your gum line, bend the floss to hug your tooth. With a sliding motion, move the floss between the tooth and gum until you detect resistance. At this point, you should begin moving the floss up and down, working your way farther under the gum line. However, be careful not to cut into the tissue surrounding the tooth. An important factor in flossing is to remember that one insertion of dental floss equals two teeth needing to be cleaned.
For purposefully flossing your lower teeth, you will use the same flossing technique as for your upper teeth; however, you will use your index fingers to direct the floss. Do not forget the backside of the last tooth on both sides: upper and lower.
Again, rinse your mouth to remove any dislodged plaque or food particles. Throw away your used dental floss. It has served its purpose.
Yes, you can enjoy that popcorn or cotton candy. Just remember that your dental care begins at home with you. By purposefully brushing and flossing, you help prevent cavities, toothaches, oral cancer, and periodontal diseases. By purposefully brushing and flossing, you also help The Mount Pleasant Dentist help you achieve optimum dental health.
The effects of poor dental care can vary from tooth decay and cavities to gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth loss; however, with proper dental care, including brushing and flossing, you will prevent many of these problems.
Remember, when you do not clean your teeth properly every day, you are at risk for tooth decay. Warning signs of tooth decay include visible holes (dental cavities) in your teeth, pain when you bite, and sensitivity or pain in your teeth. If you begin to experience any of these signs of tooth decay, please call The Mount Pleasant Dentist immediately.
Your dental care begins at home with you. By brushing and flossing regularly, you help prevent cavities, toothaches, oral cancer, and periodontal disease, and you help The Mount Pleasant Dentist help you to achieve optimum dental health.