Flossing is Not Enough-Are You Brushing Your Teeth Properly?
Flossing and tooth brushing go hand-in-hand as the mainstays of good oral care, and proper technique is important for both activities. Using the correct techniques for twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing will help promote oral health for the long term.
Even if you've been brushing and flossing your teeth since childhood, you may have developed some bad habits over the years, such as brushing too hard, ignoring your back teeth and forgetting to floss.
Keep these techniques in mind when you brush your teeth, whether before or after flossing:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line.
- When brushing your teeth, move the brush back and forth gently over the front, back and top (chewing surface) of your teeth. Don’t scrub hard along the gum line; you can irritate your gums.
- Remember to brush (and floss) behind your lower (bottom) front teeth. Use the top bristles of the brush to reach this area. If this area is hard for you to reach with regular floss, try a floss holder or disposable flosser.
Other elements of complete oral care include brushing your tongue. You'll freshen your breath and eliminate even more cavity-causing bacteria. Also, if you’re at risk for plaque buildup or gum disease, consider adding an antiseptic mouth rinse to your complete oral care routine.