No matter how often you go to the dentist or how healthy you eat, your oral health will suffer if you do not brush and floss effectively. Brushing your teeth removes plaque, which is a sticky, transparent film made from food particles, bacteria, and white blood cells. Flossing removes plaque and trapped food from between the teeth. Together, brushing and flossing keep your teeth free of substances that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Some people neglect to floss their teeth. It is a good idea to floss at least once a day before you brush your teeth. Flossing loosens plaque and food from between the teeth and brushing washes it away. To floss correctly, wrap the loose ends of floss around your two index fingers. Then, pull the floss between your teeth until you touch the gums. Be careful not to use too much force or you may damage the gums. A firm but gentle tug is normally enough to get between the teeth. After the floss has touched the gums, pull it up and down once or twice against each side of the two teeth. This scrapes the plaque and food off the teeth. Dispose of used dental floss. Reusing it may introduce harmful bacteria into your mouth.

Nearly every person knows that they should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day, however fewer individuals know how to brush properly. Proper brushing starts with the tools you use to do the job. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that you feel comfortable with. It should be the suitable size for your mouth. The toothbrush that your dentist gives you is just fine for this task; there is no need to go out and buy a fancy electronic toothbrush unless your dentist asks you to. Then, you need the right toothpaste. There is a bewildering variety of types of toothpaste available. The type of toothpaste you use, such as the flavor or if it promises to help with whitening, is less necessary than its fluoride content. Be sure to get fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride plays an important role in preventing tooth decay.

You also must brush correctly to be sure that you are removing as much plaque as possible. Place your toothbrush against your teeth so it rests at a small angle, then brush vigorously back and forth. Be sure to brush every surface, including the insides of the teeth, the gums, and the tongue. Brush firmly, yet not so hard that you irritate your gums or risk wearing the enamel off your teeth.

How you store your toothbrush is also essential. Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly to rid it of bacteria and store it bristle-side up. Do not place the toothbrush in an enclosed container, since mold or bacteria thrive in a wet, closed environment.

When you get the hand of it, proper brushing and flossing are not difficult. Even kids can master proper brushing and flossing with guidance. If you are not sure if you are brushing and flossing correctly, your dentist will be happy to help.

Dr. Shindler, Westlake Village dentist can help you devise a proper brushing and flossing routine to preserve healthy teeth. This Westlake Village porcelain dental crowns expert can help you achieve a beautiful smile as well.