A complete at-home oral hygiene routine is the ideal way to help protect your dental health, but should you be doing anything specific? Today, our Surrey dentists talk about how often you should brush or floss your teeth and how this helps to care for your oral health.
Keeping up with daily oral hygiene and preventive care goes a long way toward protecting your oral health. This can be done both at home with brushing and flossing as well as at the office for professional cleanings.
During your preventive care visit, your dentist will offer a complete dental exam and discuss their recommendations for oral care with you.
In this post, our Surrey dentists share some of the ideal brushing techniques and talk about how often you should be brushing your teeth.
How should you be brushing your teeth?
Here we offer some of the steps we think would help support a good oral hygiene routine.
Clean each surface of each tooth, including the chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side. Brush in a sweeping motion at a 45-degree angle. On upper teeth, use a downward sweeping motion. When you get to your lower teeth, use an upward sweeping motion. The back-and-forth motion should only ever be used on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
You should always brush your teeth for at least two minutes to help ensure adequate removal of plaque and debris although you should never go longer than 4 minutes. Wait at least 30 minutes after you eat to brush. At the very least, we recommend brushing twice per day and always before bedtime. You might want to try setting a timer to ensure your brushing routine is long enough.
Floss is best done in the evening just before you go to sleep. When you floss, you'll dislodge buildup and debris from food between your teeth in places you are unable to reach with your toothbrush. Insert the string of floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a "c" shape in both directions. Be sure to floss slowly and not skip any crevices between your teeth.
How does an oral hygiene routine help keep your teeth healthy?
You should have a professional dental cleaning and exam performed by our dentists in Surrey every 6 months to help protect your oral health.
During your professional cleaning, your dentist will scrape away the plaque and tartar build up that has been occurring since your last visit. This is crucial to help prevent the buildup of cavity-causing bacteria.
By visiting the dentist a few times a year you allow them the opportunity to spot any potential issue before they start.
Oral health problems such as cavities, gum disease, cysts, and even tumours are often not noticeable to the untrained eye (even a patient's own eye) in their early stages, so it's important to have a dental professional assess your mouth regularly.