Brushing and Flossing
We have all inherited a different set of teeth; some have inherited remarkably strong teeth, while others have inherited teeth with dental problems. A few minutes a day, devoted to thoroughly cleaning your teeth, will give you a lifetime of smiles.
Brushing and flossing every day is the most effective way to remove plaque. Plaque is the sticky, colourless film of bacteria which constantly forms on your teeth, which, if left undisturbed, forms the hard deposits called tartar, or calculus and is responsible for cavities and gum disease.
To keep your teeth clean and plaque-free, practice the following brushing techniques daily:
Remember to brush long enough and thoroughly enough to remove the plaque from your teeth. Don’t substitute short durations with heavy scrubbing as this will cause recession.
Ideally, one should brush after every meal and snack. These days, this is hard to do because of our busy lifestyles. It is important that you brush at least twice a day, and the most effective time to brush is before bed.
Brushing cleans the surface of your teeth, but you need to floss to get between the teeth where brushing cannot.
Flossing prior to brushing removes plaque between the teeth so that the foam of the fluoridated toothpaste can contact the in between surfaces of the teeth to help remineralize weakened areas.
The following is the most effective way to floss:
If you are just beginning to floss your teeth, your gums may be tender or bleed. This is normal. As the plaque is being broken up and the bacteria removed, your gums will heal. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after the first two weeks, contact you dentist. Remember to always be gentle when inserting your floss between your teeth and under the gum line. Never force or snap the floss into the gums.
Regular dental care is very important because even if you brush and floss thoroughly, some areas may be missed. Also, some people develop tartar more quickly than others. Therefore, it is essential to have your teeth cleaned and checked every 6 months.