The Importance of Brushing and Flossing

Ever since we were young, we have always taught how important brushing and flossing our teeth are. Despite the many reminders, we still, at times, forget to maintain a proper healthy oral routine. Here are a few reminders on the importance of these two acts:

Brushing Our Teeth
Plaque is a colourless film of bacteria that coats your teeth if you do not brush them properly and on a regular basis. Plaque contributes to tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing the teeth stops plaque from building up. When you brush your teeth, you are also helping your mouth smell fresh and clean. It is never enough to just chew gum and it definitely does not kill any bacteria. People who do not brush their teeth on a regular basis are more prone to having tooth loss and other dental problems.

Proper Way of Brushing the Teeth
When brushing the teeth, make sure that you brush all the surfaces of your teeth – in total, it should take you no less than about two minutes. It is a must to brush the inner and outer tooth surfaces, as well as the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth until they are at least seven years old. It is important to spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing. Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can be an aid in preventing tooth decay, but do not use it immediately after brushing your teeth. Doing so, washes away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth.

Flossing the Teeth
Flossing is an act that is often neglected but is a vital part in maintaining proper dental health. By flossing daily, you can remove plaque that is stuck between your teeth. This is an area that cannot be reached by your toothbrush. Unless the plaque is removed from this area, it can contribute to the build-up of tartar, cavities and other dental concerns. Flossing is also one of the things that most people do not enjoy doing. It’s something that is so easy to do, yet equally easy to neglect and put-off. Just like toothbrushes, dental flosses come in different sizes, types and flavours and worth finding one that each family member likes.

Proper Way of Flossing the Teeth
Flossing is not just for dislodging the food wedged between your teeth and plaque. It helps in reducing bad breath and gum diseases by removing plaque that forms along and under the gum line. The best time to floss is before brushing the teeth. Take 12-18 inches (30-45cm) of floss and grasp it so you have a couple of inches between your hands. Slip the floss between the teeth and into the areas between your teeth and gums – as far as it will go without forcing it. Floss with 8-10 strokes, up and down between each tooth, to dislodge plaque and food.

Maintain a healthy oral routine now in order to avoid more complex dental conditions and issues in the future!

Are Floss Picks Just as Good As Standard Flossing?

Dental floss has long been an important ally in keeping teeth healthy since its invention in the 19th century, but just as we’re now all aware of the effectiveness of flossing at preventing plaque and gum disease, we’re just as aware of how annoying it can be to use.  While there are certainly some among us with the skill to take a piece of floss and wrap it around and between each tooth like an expert, there are many others who just never could get it right, got frustrated, and ended up back at the dentist being told yet again that they needed to floss more. 

Floss picks are a relatively newer invention, having grown in popularity since their introduction in the 1980s, and are designed to overcome the difficulty of use of regular floss.  More expensive than dental floss, floss picks come in a pack and are made of a plastic body with floss angled either in a ‘U’ or an ‘F’.  Its usage is simple – just slip the floss section between your teeth and use as though it were normal floss held between fingers. 

Okay, so floss picks are easier, but are they just as effective as regular flossing?  For the most part the answer is yes.  Studies have shown that floss picks are ‘at least as good’ as regular floss for removing plaque.  Cleaning the area between your teeth, regardless of method, is a positive thing for your dental health.  Some dentists do believe that regular flossing is better at reaching areas floss picks might not be able to, but all agree that floss picks are far superior to not flossing at all.

If you have always wanted to floss more often, but just haven’t been able to muster the skill or the patience, floss picks might be right for you.  If you haven’t been flossing as much as you should, and you need to see someone regarding care for your teeth or gums, contact our team and we’ll be happy to help!