Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques By Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S. on February 09, 2015

A woman with a toothbrushPatients throughout Knoxville place their trust in Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr. because of his commitment to general dental care. General dentistry means treatment and prevention of tooth decay and gum disease, with a focus on patient education to ensure total wellness.

At-home care is crucial to having a great smile, which is why we want to talk about proper brushing and flossing techniques and why they matter.

The Importance of Proper Technique

You might be surprised to learn that proper oral hygiene technique makes a major difference when it comes to overall dental health and wellness, but it's true. Even if you brush and floss regularly, doing it the wrong way can actually do more harm than good. Improper brushing and flossing is actually a major cause of gum recession, which is why we want to share basic information about oral hygiene with you.

Be Sure to Select the Right Kind of Toothbrush

Picking the right kind of toothbrush makes a tremendous difference in how clean you can get your teeth and how gently the bristles touch the gumline. Ideally you will want to select a toothbrush with soft bristles. The head of the toothbrush should be relatively small so it can reach the nooks and crannies in the back of the mouth and behind the rear molars.

Brush Your Teeth the Right Way

When brushing your teeth, use gentle strokes, working in soft and circular motions with the toothbrush angled roughly 45 degrees. When possible, work outward from the gumline to the end of the tooth, and be sure to polish all surfaces of a tooth as thoroughly as possible. The small head on the toothbrush will allow you to really get at all the exposed spots of your teeth.

How to Floss Thoroughly Yet Gently

When flossing, be sure to carefully maneuver the floss between each tooth. Avoid snapping the floss against the gumline as this can lead to numerous problems, gum recession among them. Using back and forth motions, work gingerly from the gumline outward between the teeth.

Use Threaders for Your Floss When Necessary

If you have braces or other orthodontia in place, be sure to use threaders in order to clean between your teeth and around the brackets. It may seem inconvenient, but it really isn't that bad, all things considered. Properly cleaning your teeth and your orthodontic equipment is not so much of a chore and it goes by faster than you may think.

Be Sure to Brush Your Tongue (Or Use a Tongue Scraper)

Oral bacteria love to reside on the tongue. In fact, the oral bacteria there may be the cause of a lot of bad breath. Be sure to brush your tongue (and the roof of your mouth) to get rid of that oral bacteria and leave your breath nice and fresh. Sometimes it's ideal to use a tongue scraper, which cleans the tongue's surface and also prevents gagging.

Replace Your Brush When It Looks Worn Out

When the bristles on your toothbrush begin to curve and the shape of the brush isn't quite what it was when you bought it, that's a good time to replace your toothbrush. In general, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months so you can get the most out of every cleaning.

Contact the office of Thomas G. Zarger, Jr.

For more information about great dental health and how to improve your oral hygiene practices, be sure to contact our family dental care center today. Dr. Zarger and the team here look forward to your visit and helping you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.

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Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr., DDS Family Dentistry in Knoxville

Our practice has provided skilled and compassionate dentistry for patients in the Knoxville, TN, community for over 30 years. Dr. Zarger is a member of:

  • American Dental Association
  • Second District Dental Society
  • Tennessee Dental Association
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

We strive to make care convenient and affordable to all patients and accept CareCredit financing to help reduce the cost of treatment. Schedule your consultation today online, or by calling (865) 693-7631.

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