You may be familiar with the old axiom, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than ten pounds of cure.” That just may be one of the truest statements ever made, and it echoes the sentiment of your dentist in Renton. He wants you to know and appreciate the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth properly. Here, discussed in detail, are the multitude of benefits.
Why are Proper Brushing and Flossing So Important?
There are several benefits to brushing and flossing your teeth properly. They include:
- Prevents Gum Disease – Brushing and flossing your teeth are very key preventive measures that protect you from such encroaching monsters as bacteria and plaque. When you brush your teeth, you agitate and remove the leftover food particles and bacteria that live on them. Flossing then boldly goes where no toothbrush has ever gone, in between the teeth and just under the gum line, to remove the excess bacteria. This is essential because these intruders can cause gum disease.
- Fresh Breath – Another benefit of properly brushing and flossing is that they contribute to fresh breath, as the same bacteria that they remove can leave an unpleasant, odious legacy that you definitely won’t be proud of.
- Prevents Tooth Loss – By removing bacteria and preventing gum disease, brushing and flossing also protect you from tooth loss. One of the negative effects of gum disease is that it can cause gum line recession, where your roots are more exposed and consequently, your teeth become unstable. Thus, they are more susceptible to falling out.
The Proper Way to Brush Your Teeth
Now that you know why brushing is so important, take a moment to learn how to perform it the right way.
- Brushing the Outside First – When brushing, it’s best to start from the outside, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle and moving with gentle strokes. Move from your top set of teeth down to the lower.
- Brushing the Inner Surface – Next, clean the inner surface of your upper teeth and then move to the lower ones, using short, back-and-forth strokes.
- Chewing Surface – Following the inner surface, move to the chewing surfaces using the same short back-and-forth strokes.
- Brush Your Tongue – Tiny bacteria and food particles can get trapped on your tongue and contribute to bad breath. So, make sure to brush it with gentle strokes to remove the undesirables.
- Cheek and Roof – Finally, don’t forget to brush your cheeks and roof of your mouth. These are also hiding places of bacteria that can easily be neglected.
The Proper Way to Floss
We now move to flossing to complete the discussion of proper techniques. Here they are listed:
- Getting Started – Start with 18 inches of floss, winding it around each middle finger until there is only 1 to 2 inches exposed.
- Gently Begin Flossing – Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth.
- Moving from Tooth to Tooth – As you move from tooth to tooth, slide the floss out carefully and be sure to use a fresh portion of before reentering the next space.
You are now prepared to proudly perform a great service for your oral health by properly brushing and flossing your teeth. So, the next time you head in to visit your dentist for your six-month examination, you can feel more comfortable in knowing that you’ve been doing your part.
About the Author
Sam DK Kim, DMD completed a 3-year postgraduate residency program in prosthodontics at the NOVA Southeastern University in Florida, during which time he obtained hundreds of hours of training in all areas of dentistry, including implant surgery. He practices at SDK Dental Care and can be reached for more information through his website.