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Are you Brushing and Flossing the Right Way?

January 6, 2016

Man brushing and flossing teethDr. David S. Groy and his Leesburg, VA team are dedicated to helping patients achieve and maintain their healthiest smiles. By emphasizing preventive dental checkups twice a year rather than responsive appointments made after pain or damage, we help patients take steps toward optimal oral health. However, even the best dental treatment plan won’t succeed unless patients’ at home care is up to par. Making sure you’re brushing and flossing properly may just be the difference between keeping your natural smile for life and trying on a pair of prosthetic teeth. Keep reading to find out more about proper brushing and flossing, or contact our team to find out more today.

The Basics of Brushing

When we ask patients about brushing, almost everyone knows the basics: two minutes at a time two times each day. Most of our patients have been brushing their teeth since they were children, and haven’t made any changes to their routines since then, but a few minor shifts could make a big difference. Some basic brushing changes that have huge oral health benefits include:

  • Use small circles or a vibrating back and forth motion over one tooth rather than large circles or broad strokes to release built up plaque.
  • Brush gently with ultra-soft bristles. Aggressive brushing will not remove additional plaque, but it may damage soft tissue.
  • Brush systematically not sporadically. Working through each tooth, section of teeth, or from front to back on all sides of your teeth (inside, outside, biting surface) rather than brushing at random offers increased effectiveness.
  • Wait half an hour after eating to brush, and half an hour after brushing to eat.

Flossing Fundamentals

The most important aspect of flossing is to be consistent. Unlike brushing, flossing doesn’t offer patients the same feeling of instant gratification with fresher breath or cleaner feeling teeth. In fact, plaque and food particles loosened during flossing may make teeth feel dirtier. The benefits of flossing become apparent over time. Some additional flossing tips and tricks include:

  • Floss around both sides of every tooth (the floss should be in a ‘C’ shape around the side).
  • Gently move floss back and forth and up and down. Don’t snap, twist, or yank.
  • Move the floss below the gum line.
  • Find floss that fits your gaps. Patients with large gaps need a more fibrous floss, and those with smaller spaces should start with a waxed or gentle glide floss.

Contact Your Family Dentist in Leesburg to Find out More

If it’s time for your twice annual appointment or you’re concerned about oral hygiene, contact our friendly Leesburg dental team today. We’re happy to help you achieve and maintain the optimal level of oral health, and we’re dedicated to helping you keep your natural smile for a lifetime.

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