Brushing and flossing is important in order to remove plaque, a sticky, harmful film of bacteria that coats the teeth. This can reduce the risk of cavities, as well as prevent tooth loss due to gum disease. Good oral hygiene is not only important for the health of your teeth and gums, but also for your overall health. The health of your mouth is directly correlated to the health of your body.
With proper brushing and flossing, you can prevent the decaying of teeth, as well as loss of the surrounding tissue and bone. Cavities are formed when the byproducts of food and drink are left in the form of an acid, causing demineralization of the enamel, the outer surface of the tooth. Gum disease is caused when plaque is not removed efficiently and causes an inflammatory response called gingivitis. If untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease and ultimately tooth loss.
Tips for Good Brushing and Flossing
For optimum oral health, Dr. Goedecke and our staff recommend that patients brush two times daily for two minutes and floss one time daily.
A traditional toothbrush is still a great tool for home hygiene, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. It uses your own elbow grease to adequately brush and leaves it up to you to determine how much time has passed.
If you use an electric toothbrush, the work you do is minimal—the toothbrush does all the hard work. Many electric toothbrushes also have internal timers set for two minutes, so you no longer need to watch the clock.
When brushing, you’ll want to angle the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle, allowing the bristles to sweep under the gum line. When flossing, wrap the floss into a C shape to allow it to adapt to the side of the tooth then follow down under the gum line. You may also want to use other dental aids, such as interdental brushes, floss threaders, and water-piks, which we’ll be happy to review with you during your next visit to our Mt. Pleasant dental office.
At Goedecke Family Dentistry, we take a proactive approach to your home hygiene. We’ll work with you to find out how you’re currently brushing and flossing, what could be improved upon, and then provide customized instructions to improve your results.