Imagine a world in which there was no brushing or flossing of our teeth needed – the mouth would just clean itself constantly. Well, the only place where that is true is in your imagination. Unfortunately, you need to brush and floss our teeth on a regular basis, but why? And how do you know that your mouths are sufficiently clean after the process?
Reasons to Brush and Floss
Why is it so essential that we do this on a regular basis? Because if we don’t then we won’t remove the food particles in our mouth. These food particles can create a huge threat to our oral health when they decompose and nourish bacteria. If you brush and floss your teeth properly then you are in effect preventing problems such as staining, bad breath, decay – which can lead to cavities and infections – and even periodontal disease.
Acidic food and drinks are extremely bad for your teeth – they soften the enamel. And although it may seem like the most logical thing to do, you should avoid brushing your teeth immediately after. This just increases the amount of enamel erosion. Either brush before you eat or rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.
Even after thoroughly brushing your teeth, there are food particles sitting between your teeth – this is where flossing comes in handy.
Believe it or not, many people don’t use the correct method when cleaning their teeth. First and foremost is the duration of this process – two minutes at least. The average adult doesn’t spend 120 seconds brushing their teeth twice a day. By the time you are done, the entire mouth should be clean and brushed – your outer and inner surface of all your teeth, your chewing surfaces, as well as your tongue.
To remove food particles, brush the chewing surface of the teeth with a back and forth motion. The amount of pressure is minimal and the brush is placed at a 45-degree angle against the gum line. Do not brush from side to side, rather use small circular strokes or brush up and down the outer surface of each tooth. When you have brushed your teeth, it is a good idea to floss them afterwards to ensure that all food particles are gone.
The toothbrush is obviously important in this process. A small headed brush with soft bristles is ideal for removing plaque in all the areas of the mouth. Many people prefer to use a powered brush because it does a better job at cleaning. The toothbrush should be replaced when it starts to wear out – about every three months.
Your Hygienist at Kerrisdale Dental Centre will be able to tell you which toothpaste is best for you – there are many varieties out there so it is wise to seek help and direction when making this decision. Any floss is suitable – some people prefer pre-threaded floss to make their lives easier.
Brushing and flossing is extremely important – make sure you are doing it often and you are doing it correctly.