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Oct 30

Orthodontics: How to Brush Your Teeth and Floss

Everyone brushes their teeth but few people brush them properly. It’s more than brushing twice daily, it comes down to technique, length of time and some other important factors. Read on to become a tooth brushing professional.

1. Time: It takes two full minutes or more to properly brush your teeth. Most people brush their teeth for only thirty seconds and only achieve a quarter or their proper tooth care as a result. Use a stopwatch, or listen to a short song while brushing to get a better sense of how long it should take.

2. Technique: Brush gently, don’t scrub. Short, little circular strokes do a great job of removing plaque. Pay extra attention to your molars, all around the gumline and crowns, fillings and other areas of restoration. Begin with the outer areas of your upper teeth, then do the sameyou’re your lower teeth. Clean the insides after that, and finally clean the chewing areas.

3. Tongue: Brushing your tongue – or even better, buying a tongue scraper – will immediately give you better breath. Usually your tongue is kind of white. That is masticated food. Gross, right? Scrape it off for more kissable, less embarrassing breath.

4. Toothbrush: Use a soft, small toothbrush – the head should be a perfect fit for one tooth. Big headed toothbrushes can’t hit the more difficult, harder-to-reach areas of the mouth. Replace your toothbrush after it starts to show wear, or after every three months.

Flossing:

1. The wrap: You will need about 18 inches of floss for a solid wrap around your fingers. Wind it around your middle fingers with an inch or two at the ends.

2. Technique: Slide it up and down between your teeth. Go beneath the gumline or you may miss important gunk. Wrap the dirty floss around your finger to use clean floss for each tooth.

3. Dental pics: You can also use dental pics or a floss holder to stimulate your gums and reach between teeth with more ease if you have trouble flossing.

Your dental hygiene is in accord with how much you work at it. That is, like everything else in life, if you work hard at keeping your teeth clean, you will have nice clean teeth. For some that means brushing after every meal. For others it means developing a better floss technique. Either way, by working at keeping your teeth clean, your orthodontist will feel much better about looking inside your mouth, and your trips to the dentist will be less painful and less frequent. While it may require even more time and dedication if you have Medicaid Braces or Invisalign, it will be worth it once your braces are removed and you have the most beautiful smile on the block.

HansonPlaceOrtho.com, Hanson Place Orthodontics is a Brooklyn NY orthodontist run by Dr. Yakov Eisenberger dedicated to improving the smiles of patients using the latest treatment technologies.

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