Am I Brushing And Flossing Properly? Our Tips For Better Dental Hygiene

If you want to prevent cavities and gum disease, and ensure that your smile remains bright, strong, and healthy, proper at-home oral care is essential. But even if you think you’re doing a great job at maintaining your teeth, there is always room for improvement.

So in this blog from Willow Creek Smiles, we’ll discuss proper at-home brushing and flossing technique, and discuss why it’s so important to brush and floss regularly. Let’s get into it! 

Understanding The Importance Of Proper At-Home Oral Care 

You probably only see a dentist like Dr. Tom Nguyen once every six months for a professional cleaning and oral exam. That means that for 363 days out of the year, you’re responsible for keeping your own mouth healthy. 

Proper at-home oral care is the best way to do this. Brushing twice per day for two minutes and flossing once per day helps remove plaque, tartar and oral bacteria. When practiced regularly, at-home oral care prevents common dental health issues like gum disease and cavities.

This, in turn, saves you time and money by eliminating the need for fillings and other dental treatments, and ensures that you keep your teeth healthy and strong. 

Proper Brushing Technique: Explaining The Modified Bass Brushing Technique

So, how can you improve your brushing technique? The Modified Bass Brushing Technique is what is recommended by Dr. Nguyen. Here’s how it works.

  1. Hold the head of your toothbrush against your teeth horizontally at a 45-degree angle. Make sure the bristles are part-way on your gum line
  2. Use gentle, circular motions to clean the tooth. Clean the tooth for about 20 strokes to ensure you remove all of the plaque you can. Make sure you clean the top, inside, and outside of each tooth
  3. “Roll” or “flick” the brush away from the tooth to move the bristles out of the gums. Then, repeat this process for each tooth until every surface and gum line has been cleaned
  4. Don’t forget about the insides of your front teeth. Hold the brush vertically, and use the same circular motion to clean the interior surface of the teeth

Need a visual example? This video from Colgate will familiarize you with the basics. 

Proper Flossing Technique: Learn To Floss Like A Dentist! 

Proper flossing is key for reducing plaque buildup, removing food particles from your teeth, and preventing gingivitis. Here is a brief overview of proper flossing technique.

  1. Wind 18 inches of floss around your middle finger or index finger, and wind a small amount of floss onto the middle or index finger of your other hand
  2. Pinch about 1-2 inches of floss between your thumbs and index/middle fingers. Use your thumbs to guide the floss between your teeth
  3. Use a zig-zag motion to guide the floss between each tooth. Then, curl it around the tooth into a “C” shape and slide it up and down each side of the tooth
  4. Remove the floss. Unroll a short section of clean floss from your index or middle finger, and use it to clean your next tooth. Don’t use the same piece of floss to clean multiple teeth.

Again, a visual aid can be helpful. So take a look at this video from the American Dental Association if you’d like an example! 

Need More Tips? Overdue For A Teeth Cleaning? Come To Willow Creek Smiles! 

If you’re overdue for a teeth cleaning or you want more tips on preventing common dental issues like gum disease and cavities, Dr. Tom Nguyen is here to help. At Willow Creek Smiles, we focus on preventive care in Tomball. Contact us online or give us a call at (281) 516-8575 to get started, and get the treatment you need to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other common oral health issues.