Oral Care & Hygiene
You hear it all the time. Brushing and flossing are important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and for your overall oral care and hygiene. However, you have a busy schedule. Sometimes it can feel like a burden trying to squeeze these tasks in. Even though brushing and flossing might seem insignificant, it is essential that you make the time to perform these important habits every day. Just doing them isn’t enough, however. You have to do them properly. Mid Valley Dental can help you to understand the importance of proper brushing and flossing and help you to develop the proper techniques. After all, your oral care and hygiene can affect the health of the rest of your body.
Brushing and Flossing
During the day, plaque builds up on your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth also feed on the sugars in your mouth, which causes them to multiply. If you do not brush and floss, these substances can accumulate to harmful levels. Without brushing and flossing, the acids produced by plaque and bacteria can begin to weaken your tooth enamel and lead to the formation of cavities. They can also begin to irritate your gum tissue, which can lead to gingivitis, the very first stage of gum disease. If these issues do not get treated, they can worsen, significantly compromising your oral health.
What Happens if I Skip Out on Brushing or Flossing Once in a While?
The recommendation is that you brush twice a day and floss at least once per day. Even skipping out on one brushing session every once in a while, or occasionally skipping flossing can significantly increase your risk for developing cavities and gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. This is because skipping either brushing or flossing gives plaque and bacteria more time to attack your teeth and gums.
Which One is More Important?
Sometimes, people think brushing might be more important. Because of this, they may focus more on brushing and ignore their flossing altogether. Neither is more important than the other. Brushing and flossing are most effective when done properly together. Brushing gets rid of a majority of the accumulation on the surfaces of your teeth, including their front surfaces, their back surfaces, and the chewing surfaces. These are not the only surfaces where plaque and bacteria accumulate. They can also accumulate between your teeth. Your toothbrush bristles cannot reach these spaces. This is where flossing comes in.
Tips for Brushing and Flossing Properly
Brushing should be done twice a day for two minutes. Use a soft bristled brush and a fluoridated toothpaste. Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle toward your gums, gently move the toothbrush back and forth. Make sure that you brush all of the surfaces of all of your teeth. Pay attention to your toothbrush bristles. It is recommended that you change your toothbrush every three months. If the bristles fray sooner, change your toothbrush sooner. Bristles that fray quickly can also indicate that you are brushing too hard, so make sure to pay attention to the pressure you are applying.
Flossing is recommended at least once a day. Make sure that you use the floss to scrape up and down the sides of each tooth. Be careful that you do not force the floss too hard against your gums, as this can irritate your gums. While regular floss is recommended, floss picks may be used if you have difficulties with manual dexterity.
Brushing and flossing regularly is important for your oral care and hygiene. If you have any questions about how to brush or floss properly, or about preventive dentistry, do not hesitate to call Mid Valley Dental at (920) 215-4160 today. It is also important to make sure you are having regular dental visits every six months.