How to take care of your teeth and gums
This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.
Even though we’ve been brushing and flossing our teeth for years and years, many of us are surprised to learn that we’re not doing it properly. Case in point: Did you know that proper brushing takes at least two minutes? Most adults do not come close to brushing that long.
Brushing: Remove food and plaque -- the sticky, nearly colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth and is the main cause of dental decay and gum disease.
Flossing: remove plaque in places a tooth brush cannot easily reach. Under the gumline and between the teeth.
These four steps are the best and easiest ways to help you remember how to care for your mouth, teeth and gums:
• Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes, especially first thing in the morning and before bedtime
• Use a toothbrush with soft rounded bristles and replace every 3 months
or when bristles show wear (of bent).
• Use Tooth paste with the seal of American Dental Association.
• Floss every day – usually at bedtime
• Limit the number of times snack each day and try to snack healthy foods
• Visit your dentist every six months for an oral exam and professional cleaning
A balanced diet can help ward off infections and decay. Keeps gums and teeth healthy.
How to BRUSH
1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.
2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.
3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.
4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.
5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.
How to FLOSS
1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.
2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.
3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.