Brushing & Flossing

brushing and flossing

At-Home Dental Teeth Cleanings

Look Better, Feel Better, & Prevent Issues

After getting your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist or hygienist, you’ll feel better, look better, prevent gum disease and tooth loss, and maintain good oral health.

Brushing and Flossing

The Importance of At-Home Proper Dental Cleanings

Nothing is better than enjoying your favorite drink or food. However, do you know what happens after that satisfying indulgence? Once your excited taste buds calm down, the remaining bacteria from your favorite drink or food either begins to attach to the enamel of your teeth or seeps or wedges into your gum line. If not tended to properly, plaque, a colorless, acid-producing film, can cause periodontal disease. By practicing proper dental cleanings at home, including daily brushing and flossing, you remove plaque and reduce the chances of developing cavities or gum disease.

Distinctive Dentistry, which offers services to the Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, and the Northern Seattle, WA, area, is happy to show you proper brushing and flossing methods to achieve optimum dental cleanings at home.

Brushing Correctly during Your Dental Cleanings

The initial step in your dental cleanings is for Distinctive Dentistry to evaluate your personal needs and recommend the appropriate brush for you. Most times, Dr. Zachary Streit or his dental hygienist will recommend a brush with soft, rounded, or polished bristles. This type of toothbrush reduces injury to your gums and damage to the surface of the tooth. Equipped with your proper toothbrush, you may be surprised to learn that you need only to apply enough toothpaste equivalent to the size of a small pea on the bristles.

  • Starting with the outer surface of your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a right angle at your gum line. Apply a small amount of pressure, moving your toothbrush in circular motions several times. Definitely, make sure the bristles rotate between your teeth. This same method of brushing is appropriate for the inside surfaces of your back teeth.
  • When brushing the inside of your upper and lower front teeth, use vertical strokes over each tooth. During all brushing, remember to incorporate the tender brushing of the gum line, as well.
  • Next, you will move to the biting surfaces of your teeth.  Use short, gentle strokes, moving back and forth. These strokes will remove the loosened food particles you freed by properly brushing between your teeth and near the gum line.

Great! You have correctly brushed your teeth. However, you are not finished yet! Now you need to rinse your mouth robustly to remove any plaque or food particles you loosened during your brushing.

After brushing, you habitually want to rinse your toothbrush with tap water to remove any remaining toothpaste or food fragments. Store your toothbrush in an open space and in an upright position away from other toothbrushes. Distinctive Dentistry suggests that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when you notice that the bristles are breaking down in structure, and are no longer as effective.

Correct dental cleanings at home, with proper brushing, are the start to complete dental care.

Flossing Correctly during Your Dental Cleanings

Your brushing alone cannot tackle those hard, in-between surfaces of your teeth or the deep, down plaque or food particles beneath your gum line. Once trapped, the lingering germs promote tooth decay and periodontal disease. To prevent decay, along with brushing your teeth daily, you must floss daily. Flossing is a learned skill, but Distinctive Dentistry will gladly show you how to floss properly. With a bit of practice, your flossing routine will only take a few extra minutes a day.

The market offers different types of dental floss. To determine which dental floss works best for you, Distinctive Dentistry will evaluate your teeth and dental needs and make the appropriate recommendation.

  • To floss correctly, start with an 18-inch long piece of floss; lightly wrap most of the thread around your middle finger of one of your hands. You need to wrap the remaining floss around the middle finger of your other hand.
  • Begin with your upper teeth. Holding the floss between your thumb and index finger, carefully insert the floss between your teeth moving in a back and forth motion.
  • When you reach your gum line, you want to curve the floss into a C-shape alongside one tooth, and with an up and down motion, move the floss between the tooth and gum until you feel resistance.
  • The next step requires a bit of practice, but with the floss in place, begin your up and down motion to work the floss farther under the gum line. Do not cut into the tissue surrounding the tooth. Continue flossing, rotating from one index finger to the other for a clean section of floss, until you have flossed all your upper teeth.
  • Floss your lower teeth using the same method as for the upper. However, your index fingers work better here to guide the floss. Do not forget the backside of the last tooth on both sides: upper and lower. They need attention, too.

Again, as with brushing, robustly rinse your mouth to remove the loosen plaque and food particles. Dispose of the used dental floss; it has served its purpose.

Dental Cleanings and You

Correct dental cleanings start at home with you. By brushing and flossing correctly, you help to prevent cavities, toothaches, oral cancer, and periodontal diseases, and by brushing and flossing at home routinely, you help Distinctive Dentistry help you achieve optimum dental health.