Brushing and Flossing

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Mother helping daughter brush teethHealthy Smiles in Macon, GA

At Macon Smiles Dr. Shah and her team are here to help you achieve a healthy, happy smile for life. We offer general, laser and cosmetic dentistry, but a healthy smile starts at home, so we teach our patients what to do in between visits. Brushing and flossing is key to preventing cavities and keeping your gums healthy, but if you’re not doing it properly, you can put your teeth at risk. Read below to ensure you are following the right steps, and if you have dentures, there are special instructions for denture care. As always, contact our office if you have any questions!

Brushing

Brushing your teeth at least two times a day is vital to staying on top of your dental health. It helps eliminate bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque giving you a minty fresh feeling to start your day. Here are some simple guidelines on how to brush correctly:

  • Place the toothbrush on your teeth at a 45 degree angle

  • Move the brush in a circular motion with a gentle stroke

  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of all teeth

  • To clean the inside surface of the of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several strokes in an up-and-down motion

  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before your rinse to remove bacteria and bad breath.

  • Rinse with water or mouth wash for 30-60 seconds

Make sure that you are using a toothbrush with soft bristles (brushing too hard can weaken the enamel on your teeth) and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. As soon as the bristles start to wear out replace your toothbrush with a new one. Dr. Shah recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, as frayed bristles will not do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

Flossing

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For those had to reach areas between teeth, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque while helping to prevent gum disease. It is very important to floss between your teeth, as brushing is only 50% of maintaining your oral health. Some guidelines for flossing include:

  • Pull about 18 inches of floss from the dispenser

  • Wrap each end of floss around your middle fingers

  • Guide the floss gently between each tooth, down to the gum line, removing any food particles or plaque
  • Unwrap clean floss from your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish

  • Floss behind all of your back teeth and don’t forget the backside of your last tooth

  • Rinse with water or mouth wash for 30-60 seconds

  • It’s completely normal for your gums to bleed a little when you first begin flossing. If the bleeding persists after the first few times, schedule an appointment and we’ll be happy to take a look.

How to Care for Your Dentures

Just like your real teeth, dentures need to be maintained daily to keep the food particles and plaque away. Dr. Shah recommends brushing your dentures right before letting them soak at night to keep them clean. For stains that may be harder to remove you can use an effervescent denture cleaner, which you can find at a local drug store. When brushing after you eat and before bedtime, make sure to scrub gently to maintain an even surface across your dentures. Also, always take the time to brush the entire surface area of your dentures. This includes the surface that fits against your gums, as it will remove any lingering denture adhesive.

Visit Macon Smiles for Your Cleaning

Remember that healthy smiles start at home and continue in our office, so make sure you are coming in for cleanings and checkups every six months. Our dental office is located in North Macon, GA, but we see patients from Forsyth, Gray and our neighboring communities, so contact us and schedule an appointment with Dr. Shah today.

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