May 31, 2017
We know you’ve been brushing your teeth for years, decades, what feels like time immemorial. But are you really doing it correctly? Many adults are surprised to learn they’re missing a few of the basics. So the next question is… what’s the right way to brush and floss? Your dentist in Dix Hills has the answers to the most basic dental hygiene questions below.
Q: How long do I need to brush my teeth?
A: A proper toothbrushing session lasts two minutes, with 30 seconds spent on each quadrant of the mouth. Set your timer to make sure you reach the two-minute mark each and every time. Or better yet, invest in an electric toothbrush, which will make a little buzz to let you know when it’s time to move to the next quadrant.
Q: What’s the proper brushing technique?
A: While it may feel like you’re getting a thorough clean when you brush in aggressive side-to-side strokes, the proper technique is actually gentle circular motions. Brush too hard and you risk injuring your delicate gum tissue.
Q: How often should I brush my teeth?
A: The American Dental Association recommends people brush their teeth at least twice a day, but after each meal is even better. You need to brush in the morning to get rid of the bacteria that has accumulated during sleep (what causes morning breath). A good brush in the evening will rid your mouth of all the bacteria, plaque, and food particles that your teeth and gums have been exposed to during the day.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Most adults do not manage to floss daily, but flossing is absolutely crucial for good oral health. It’s the only way to remove the bacteria and left-behind food that your toothbrush just can’t reach. Start a flossing habit by leaving the box where you’re sure to see it each night. It sounds cheesy, but ticking your progress off on a calendar helps track progress visually — something that isn’t easy when you’re first starting to floss.
Q: What’s the proper flossing technique?
A: To floss effectively, wrap about 18 inches of dental floss around each middle finger, leaving a space about an inch wide to work with in between. Gently work this part up and down between your teeth, starting with a new section with each tooth to avoid redistributing the bacteria throughout the mouth. Rub the floss over the back surface of your very last tooth, too.
Q: How often should I visit the dentist?
A: Come see us every six months! During a regular checkup and cleaning, we will remove the plaque and tartar that cause cavities and gum disease. We will also take x-rays and perform a thorough examination to catch issues almost as soon as they develop. Early detection of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health hazards ensures we can provide the most conservative treatment possible.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
With that last point in mind, when was your last visit to the dentist in Dix Hills? If it’s been more than six months, it’s time for you to come in! Request an appointment today.
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