How To Really Keep Your Teeth Clean
- Posted on: Feb 21 2015
We’re here to help keep your smile in its best condition at all times and much of the great smile work begins at home, with you. In between visits to us you can do a lot to help keep your teeth clean and healthy. Here are a few pointers and tips.
- Brush at least twice a day
- If you only brush once, just before bed is best
- Throw away your toothbrush every 3-4 months
- Floss daily
- Come see Dr. Mulder regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
1. Brush the Right Way
Brushing your teeth helps to remove plaque — a sticky film that forms on your teeth due to the presence of bacteria – and prevents cavities and gum disease. It’s important to brush your teeth after you eat, because certain food and drinks cause bacteria in your mouth to release acids that are harmful to your tooth enamel. (Some foods even produce acids that can attack your tooth enamel for 20 minutes!)
To get the best out of each brush, follow these tips:
- Choose a soft-bristled brush and make sure the size and shape of your brush fit your mouth so you can reach all areas with ease
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride to protect teeth from decay
- Watch the ADA Dental Minute to learn how much tooth paste you need
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums
- Brush 2-3 teeth at a time, moving the brush back and forth gently in short strokes
- Think of the rule of threes: brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth (Don’t forget your gums either!)
- For your molars – the “chewing surfaces” – brush the tops of your teeth back and forth
- To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, use the top of your brush in gentle up-and-down strokes
- Brush your tongue, too, to freshen breathe and remove bacteria
To view great, animated videos showing the proper way to brush, visit WebMD.
And for added cleaning support, consider using an electric toothbrush–they are great alternatives to manual brushing. (Our staff is happy to recommend a good one!)
2. Floss the Right Way
Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss helps to remove plaque from between the teeth. Flossing helps get to the areas where the toothbrush can’t reach and it plays a critical role in preventing periodontal (gum) disease.
To floss with ease, try these tips:
- Select a floss with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance and look for a glide floss if you find your teeth are tight together. (You can also use interdental cleaners.)
- Pull out about 12-18 inches of floss
- Wrap it around the middle finger on each hand hold it tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Ease the flow between your teeth in a gentle back and forth motion. (Be careful not to snap it into your gums.)
- Gently slide the floss into the space between the gum and tooth. Rub the side of the tooth in up and down motions.
- Repeat the steps on the rest of your teeth and don’t forget the back side of your last tooth
- Rinse with water when finished and smile!
3. Come see us!
Don’t forget to schedule check-ups twice a year and to call any time when issues arise. If you haven’t stopped by for a cleaning in a while, now is a great time to come back in. Give us a call and make your year-end or first of the year appointment today.
Published by: Grand Rapids Dentistry Blog – A Life of Smiles
A Grand Rapids, Michigan based cosmetic, general & sedation dentistry