Teeth brushing and flossing are essential components of an excellent at-home oral hygiene routine. Our dentists share tips on how often you should brush and floss your teeth.
Preventive hygiene is essential to your oral health. This covers regular dental exams and cleanings at your dentist's office, in addition to practicing good oral health care at home, especially regular brushing and flossing.
Regular, thorough brushing and flossing is important to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. They also help to eliminate bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay, which can lead to gum disease.
Here, our dentists share how often you should brush, plus proper techniques.
Solid Brushing & Flossing Techniques
Clean each surface of every tooth in your mouth, including the cheek side, chewing surface and tongue side. Brush in a sweeping motion at a 45-degree angle. For upper teeth, use a sweeping downward motion, and switch to a sweeping upward motion for lower teeth. Only brush back and forth on chewing surfaces.
Ideally, you should brush after every meal for two minutes each time (no longer than four minutes). Wait at least 30 minutes after you eat before brushing. At the very least, brush twice a day and always before you head to bed. You can try timing yourself to ensure your brushing routine is long enough.
Floss at least once a day, preferably in the evening before bed. By flossing, you dislodge debris and buildup from food between your teeth, in the places you are unable to reach with your toothbrush. Insert the floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a "c" shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and make sure to floss between every two teeth.
Professional Dental Cleanings & Exams
Seeing your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exams is critical to maintaining oral health.
Your dentist has the knowledge, expertise and tools needed to remove plaque and tartar buildup that you are unable to remove yourself with brushing and flossing.
Your dentist will also be able to identify dental issues in their early stages if they see you often enough, and treat them before they develop into bigger problems. Oral health problems such as gum disease, cavities and even cysts, tumors and other abnormalities are often not noticeable to the untrained eye in their emerging stages, so it's important to have a dental professional evaluate your mouth regularly.