Simply said, oral hygiene consists of a lot more than just brushing your teeth. Brushing is not enough to prevent tooth decay and bad breath because your tooth brush is not able to get into the hard-to-reach areas where plaque and bacteria form. Flossing and rinsing are an essential part of taking care of your teeth from home along with seeing your dentist for regular check-ups.
Every time a person eats the bacterium that is on your teeth with break down your food and creates an acidic environment. The result is a loss of tooth minerals that could result in a cavity.
You may ask, how can I help with the loss of teeth minerals? The best strategy would be to brush and floss immediately after you eat and drink. However, we know many people are not able to do that. The conclusion is that most people brush in the morning and at night and maybe floss…sometimes. (Not doing this? HOLD THE PHONE and check this out!)
Steps to brushing your teeth correctly:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
- Make small circles in short strokes.
- Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and to freshen your breath.
Steps to flossing your teeth correctly:
- Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
- Bring the floss back toward the contact point between the teeth and move the floss up or down the other side, conforming the floss to the shape of the tooth.
- Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions.
- Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.
Still, this may not be enough. Many of our patients have great oral hygiene but still develop cavities because they may be at risk for tooth decay. To determine why you are prone to getting cavities, please request an appointment at your dentist for an assessment.