brighton brushing and flossing

When we take time to care for our smiles from home each day, we help improve oral health until the next checkup and cleaning visit. But how do we brush and floss properly, and how often should we care for our smile? In today’s blog, your Brighton, MA, dentists discuss how to properly clean your smile and maintain optimal oral health.

The Dangers of Plaque Buildup and More

What happens to our smiles over time? Well, if we fail to clean our teeth properly this enables food and drink particles to remain stuck on or between teeth. Bacteria will break down the bits of food, and in the process, elevate oral acidity and coat the teeth in plaque. A bacterial byproduct, plaque is difficult to remove from the teeth and once it hardens into tartar, is impossible to remove without a professional cleaning from your dentist. Plaque and tartar not only lead to bad breath and stained teeth, but increase the risk of cavities, infection, gingivitis, and even gum disease.

Brushing Your Teeth

When you care for your teeth on a daily basis, this helps control how much plaque can accumulate on your smile. The process then safeguards the smile until we can remove all buildup with ease during your next checkup and cleaning visit.

To brush, we suggest picking up a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent inadvertent enamel damage if you brush too hard. You should clean your teeth in the morning and once more before going to bed, for about two minutes each session. Make sure you use a pea-sized blot of fluoride toothpaste when you do, as fluoride helps strengthen outer enamel. Be wary of whitening toothpastes, as these could contain abrasive agents that wear down outer enamel.

Flossing Nightly

Even more vital than brushing your teeth is flossing. When we floss, we remove the bits of food and drink caught between the teeth or along the gum line. You should floss every evening before bed, taking an 18-inch length of tape and wrapping each end around your thumbs, holding it taut with your index finger. Run the tape up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line in a “c” shaped motion to remove trapped particles. You can use tape, picks, or even water flossers, as long as you take time to clean between your teeth! If you have any questions, then contact our team today.

We Want to Keep Your Smile Healthy

Routine care at home, when done properly, helps strengthen your smile. To learn more about better homecare habits, then schedule a consultation by calling Brighton Family Dental Group in Brighton, MA, today at (617) 562-5210. We proudly welcome patients from Cambridge, Brookline, and all surrounding communities.