ADA Recommendations: Oral Care Basics For Everyone

The Proper Brushing And Flossing Basics

Brush your teeth at least twice a day. When you brush your teeth, don’t rush it up. Do a thorough job.

The proper tools should be used. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a mouth-fitting soft-bristled toothbrush. More than manual brushing can do, an electric or battery-operated toothbrush can reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease These devices are helpful for the elderly, those with arthritis or other issues that make brushing difficult.

Oral Care Basics

There’s a proper technique to holding the brush and toothbrushing. It must be at a slight angle, aiming the bristles toward where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of teeth, as well as the tongue.

Always keep your toothbrush clean. Rinse toothbrush with water after brushing, store in an upright position to air-dry until next use. Prevent cross-contamination by separating it from other toothbrushes in the same holder. Don’t always cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers, this can lead to growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in them.

Invest in a new toothbrush. Don’t use it beyond 3 to 4 months or as soon as the bristles are already frayed or irregular. The same timeframe applies when replacing the head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush.

Flossing is just as important. Use 18 inches (46 centimeters) of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand. Grip the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

Use gentleness. Guide the floss between teeth using a rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gum line, curve it against one tooth. Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress to the rest of your teeth.

Use an interdental cleaner if you’re not able to handle floss. Use a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between teeth, a water flosser, or wooden or silicone plaque remover. Just keep it up.


More Brushing and Flossing Tips in Bellevue

Here in Bellevue we advocate the ADA recommendations for the basics of oral care. We believe in proper and regular brushing and flossing of teeth and gums.