Dr. Kim, and the East End Dental Wellness team are big believers in making small changes that can have a big, positive impact. During the course of a day, your mouth is doing so much for you. It provides you with energy, by helping you take in fluids, and the foods that nourish you. It helps you communicate. It even helps you breathe. Yet, all your mouth needs to keep on working so hard and stay healthy is about four minutes a day. If done properly, the two minutes in the morning and the two minutes at night you spend brushing and flossing can literally make the difference between a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums and a lifetime of chronic health issues and pain.
Proper brushing removes surface staining, food particle build-up, and other damaging elements. It protects your teeth's natural surface and keeps your gums healthy. Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to follow when brushing your teeth.
- DON’T move your brush in a horizontal motion. Instead, focus on moving the tooth brush from top to bottom in a downward motion (on your top teeth) and bottom to top in an upward motion (on your bottom teeth). By doing it this way, your hand will automatically do a circular motion but more of the teeth surfaces will be brushed, resulting in an overall better cleaning.
- DO use a soft toothbrush. Medium or hard toothbrushes are too abrasive and can actually wear away protective enamel on your teeth, eventually leading to cavities. Electric toothbrushes can also be extremely helpful in making sure you’re cleaning all tooth surfaces.
- DON’T be fancy with your toothpaste. Some whitening toothpastes also contain “micro-beads” that actually wear away tooth enamel and can cause gum recession, both of which can lead to inflammation and decay. Some “natural” toothpastes do not contain fluoride, which is essential for tooth protection. It’s best to brush with a basic fluoride toothpaste, and talk to Dr. Kim about appropriate whitening methods for best overall results.
- DON’T rinse. The purpose of toothpaste with fluoride is to provide somewhat of a protective coating on your teeth. If you rinse right after, you’re washing away that protection. Instead, just spit out the excess toothpaste after brushing, and let your natural saliva do the rest.
- DO brush for four minutes per day: two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night. If it helps, put on a song that is about two minutes long, or watch a news clip for two minutes to know when you’ve brushed for long enough.
We all know how important flossing is to overall health, yet many patients don’t do it consistently. For some, flossing hasn’t been part of their routine, so it might feel awkward or uncomfortable. For others, they feel like they don’t have time. Some patients also feel that they’ve never really been taught how to floss properly and aren’t sure what to do. But if you’re one of those patients who hasn’t flossed because you’ve experienced pain or bleeding gums while flossing, you should know that you, too, can have a comfortable, pain-free flossing experience and help yourself have a healthier mouth than ever before. Here’s how...
- Make a commitment. Regardless of why you’ve put off flossing until now, make a commitment that from now on you will floss every single day, no matter what.
- Know that discomfort is temporary. Flossing, if done properly and consistently, does not hurt. If your gums bleed when you brush, it is because of inflammation. Basically, bacteria or a foreign body has built up in that area and so it is more sensitive. As you begin to floss regularly and brush properly, much, if not all, of that inflammation should subside, eliminating the bleeding.
- Floss in a U-shape. Be sure to “sweep” the floss down one tooth and back up the adjacent tooth. Don’t push down in the middle of your gum with the floss.
- Keep the results in mind. Remember that every day you floss your teeth, is one more day your teeth, gum, and overall health have more protection from damage. Just think how great your next checkup at our Easton dental office will be!
Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what our patients have to say!
“My gums are finally healthy and I’m so happy! As someone who’s been visiting East End Dental for nearly 20 years, I can tell you that their advice has made a huge difference. Previously, I had horrible experiences at the dentist, and I avoided dental visits for almost ten years. But since going to East End Dental, I have actually come to ENJOY my dental visits! Dr. Kim and his staff are very patient, kind, and very gentle. They are so detailed in their care. For a long while, my gums were inflamed and would bleed every time I brushed or flossed. But East End Dental showed me how to properly brush with an electric toothbrush and water pick. I followed their advice and I’m happy to say my gums are finally healthy.” – Cheryl Blanchard
- Brushing Instructions
Brushing: Step 1
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.
Brushing: Step 2
Brush gently in a circular motion.
Brushing: Step 3
Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Brushing: Step 4
Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.
- Flossing Instructions
Flossing: Step 1
Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.
Flossing: Step 2
Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
Flossing: Step 3
Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.
Flossing: Step 4
Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.