8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
7:00 am - 12:00 pm
While almost everyone agrees on the importance of good oral hygiene, some people are better at taking care of their smiles than others; one survey found that about a third of Americans don’t brush twice a day, and another third of them don’t floss at all. To avoid the cavities and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss, it’s important that you keep the right habits, and that means learning how to get the most out of daily oral care. Here are 5 questions about brushing and flossing answered by your family dentist in Hampton.
1. How Often and How Long Do I Need to Brush My Teeth?
You should be brushing at least twice a day; if possible, you may want to try brushing after every meal, or three times a day. Most people brush for an average of 45 seconds per session, but this is not nearly long enough for a thorough cleaning; most dentists will recommend two minutes. It may be helpful to set a timer (a feature that some electric toothbrushes include).
2. What Sort of Toothbrush Should I Get?
Always get a brush with soft bristles; hard bristles can damage the enamel and the gums. Both manual and electric toothbrushes can be effective, although some might find an electric brush to be easier to hold. Pick the kind of brush that you’re most comfortable with.
Remember: you should replace your toothbrush (or the head of an electric toothbrush) every 3 to 4 months; it’ll be easy to remember if you get a new brush at the beginning of the season.
3. What is the Proper Brushing Technique?
Contrary to what you might think, scrubbing your teeth really hard won’t make cleaning them easier; in fact, it could potentially damage them. Instead, brush gently with back-and-forth strokes. Don’t forget to cover every surface of each tooth and pay attention to areas that are often missed such as the gum lines.
4. Is Flossing Still Necessary?
While recent reports have stated that there’s no evidence of the health benefits of flossing, that doesn’t mean the practice is ineffective. Many dentists will still recommend flossing at least once a day to clean the spaces between the teeth that you can’t easily reach otherwise. If you find that you’re having trouble with traditional string floss, ask your dentist about alternative tools such as interdental brushes that can also get the job done.
5. What if My Gums Bleed While Flossing?
If you notice blood on your dental floss, it could simply be due to flossing too hard. However, patients with gum disease tend to bleed more easily. Speak with your dentist in Hampton to get proper diagnosis and treatment.
Feel free to ask any other questions about your brushing and flossing habits at your next appointment; it’s important to be proactive about protecting your oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Harbpinder Shevchenko became a dentist to give people healthy, beautiful smiles. She has been practicing for over 10 years and is happy to treat patients of all ages. She provides a wide range of services for families, such as fluoride treatments to give children extra protection from cavities. To schedule an appointment at her practice, Smiles by the Sea, visit her website or call (214) 436-4040.