Do you feel like your brushing and flossing are actually getting your teeth clean? While we all go through the motions of running a toothbrush across our teeth, there’s more to it than just scrubbing for a little while. Making your hygiene more effective will save you time over the bathroom sink, help prevent cavities, and leave your smile looking whiter and your breath fresher. There’s nothing to lose!
Read on for some tips from our Bay Terrace dentist on efficient, simple cleaning. If you’re looking for some personalized advice, set up an exam with Dr. Michael Ricciardi. As you can see on the map below, our practice is just a quick hop away from your Bay Terrace neighborhood.
How to Brush and Floss – The Right Way
We learn how to brush and floss when we’re kids. Over the years, we tend to slack on our techniques, and end up not actually removing plaque as well as we could be. At your next exam, ask your hygienist how you’re doing with your cleaning, and we’ll guide you through the steps to more efficient brushing and flossing.
Here are some of the most common hygiene mistakes to which you might be falling prey:
- Not brushing long enough – You should brush your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day. This doesn’t sound like that long, but most adults don’t come close to running out the clock. Why two minutes? It’s enough time to adequately clean all accessible areas of your teeth.
- Skipping hard-to-reach surfaces – Those tough spots are usually more likely to gather plaque, so they may be more important than the simple-to-brush areas. If you struggle to reach lingual (tongue-facing) surfaces or back teeth, ask us for product recommendations.
- Reusing areas of floss – Bacteria adhere to used lengths of floss, and can be transferred to spaces between other teeth. Always use enough floss to have a fresh patch for each tooth.
- Brushing or flossing too roughly – Rough flossing can irritate your gums and cause inflammation. Rough brushing can erode your enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. Be sure to clean gently and thoroughly.
- Not brushing your tongue – The tongue is a big host of bad bacteria, and contributes to bad breath.