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Brushing and flossing - Corpus Christi Dentistry

Updated: Oct 31, 2019



As a professional Corpus Christi Dentist office, Gonzalez Family Dentistry stands behind a comprehensive and regular brushing and flossing regimen. This will not only have your smile looking the best that it can but will mitigate future short-term and long-term oral health issues. Please read below on the proper procedures for brushing and flossing as outlined by the American Dental Association.


Gonzalez Family Dentistry is also a Corpus Christi Dentist who can treat dental patients for a variety of other preventative and corrective dental issues such as routine exams and cleaning, impacted teeth, braces and invisalign advice and steps to take, fillings, veeners, extractions and dentures. Please fill out our form on the bottom of the page here.


Brushing and Flossing


Even though people are normally used to brushing and flossing their teeth, just a handful perform these activities the right way. This leaves many individuals with their teeth not properly cleaned because they do not follow a correct dental care technique. So, without further ado, here are a few things to consider when doing these two activities.


Brushing and flossing: What should come first?


A common question that many ask their dentist is, “which should I do first, brush or floss?”

Considering brushing as the act of scrubbing the teeth with a toothbrush and some toothpaste on it, and flossing as a technique based on using a piece of soft string around the fingers and navigating it up and down between the teeth and below the gum line, these two activities can be performed in no specific sequence, as long as they are done properly (1).


When and how often should teeth be brushed?


For people to have a healthy mouth and smile, teeth brushing is considered to be the main part of the dental care routine. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends practicing this activity at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes, especially first thing in the morning and before bedtime (2, 3).

Both the duration and the time to perform the brushing are usually two things most people take for granted. These mistakes are the most common causes of tooth decay in all group ages, especially when going to bed without brushing the teeth.


And how about flossing?


Proper flossing is capable of removing food particles, plaque, and other toxic remains from places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach such as under the gum line or between the teeth. With this in mind, flossing should be done daily to avoid plaque build-up and tooth decay.


To receive maximum benefits from flossing, the ADA recommends:


· To start with approximately 18 to 24 inches of dental floss, winding most of it around each middle finger until there is only an inch or two of floss to work with.


· To hold the floss tautly with the thumbs and index fingers, sliding it gently up and down between the teeth.


· To reach beneath the gum line, the floss should be curved around the base of each tooth.


· As the individual moves from tooth to tooth, clean sections of the floss should be used.


· To remove the floss away from the teeth, the same motion should be used but in

reverse (2, 4, 5).


What is the proper brushing technique?


Regarding the brushing technique; experts on the matter consider the best way to do it is by following a series of specific steps that, if done properly, can provide real benefits for oral health. These steps include:


· Placing the toothbrush at a 45° angle along the gum line.


· Moving the toothbrush following a back and forth motion, repeating this process for each tooth.


· Brushing the chewing surface, which is the top portion of each tooth.


· Going behind each tooth to clean its inside surfaces by brushing vertically and making several strokes in an up and down movement.


· Brushing the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria (2, 3).


What type of toothbrush is the right one for each individual?


Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is the best option for most people in order to remove plaque and toxic remains from the teeth. Regarding the size, a small-headed brush is preferable due to its capacity to better reach all areas of the oral cavity.

However, selecting the right toothbrush depends also on the individual and its preferences about size and hardness. In addition, the size of the oral cavity is a factor that needs to be considered when choosing the proper toothbrush. Manual dexterity is another element that needs to be taken into account, existing powered toothbrushes for those with a limitation in this capacity.

Besides these considerations, the replacement of the toothbrush needs to be done when this begins to show signs of wear or every 3 to 6 months, whichever comes first. This change also needs to happen after having a respiratory or oral infection, since the bristles can collect harmful germs that could lead to reinfection (6).


And how about types of dental floss?


Basically, there are two types of floss to choose:


· Nylon (or multifilament) floss, which is available waxed and unwaxed, and in various flavors, is composed by numerous strands of nylon. These could sometime tear or shred, especially when flossing teeth too attached to each other.


· PTFE (or monofilament) floss, which is capable of sliding easily between teeth, even when flossing teeth too close to each other. Being virtually shred-resistant, this type is more expensive.


Both types are excellent dental floss options and, when used properly, both are able to remove plaque and toxic remains (4).


You can set up an initial appointment or find out more information if you are having issues or if you and your family would like to have a new family dentist. Our contact information can be found here. We cannot wait to hear from you. Have a great day.


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