Daily Brushing & Flossing Can Protect Against Periodontal Disease & Tooth Loss

Dr. James Hallam of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. James Hallam, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

Taking good care of your teeth is extremely important. The consequences of losing your natural teeth can be costly and life changing.

Twice-daily brushing & flossing removes particulate buildup from foods, as well as bacteria that can cause cavities. Although these substances continue to accumulate on a daily basis, regular effective home care can protect teeth and gums from their damaging effects. A semi-annual hygiene therapy appointment will eliminate otherwise hard to remove dental plaque that can accumulate and calcify, leading to serious periodontal problems and potential tooth loss.

Woman flossing her teeth.

Floss daily!

You should also know that mouthwash doesn’t protect against gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss. While it may feel like it cleans because it’s astringent, it doesn’t do anything to remove plaque.

Mouthwashes can however kill off the bacteria that make plaque, however, these bacteria grow back quickly. That being said, certain mouthwashes containing fluoride can help fight cavities and be particularly effective when used as a rinse after brushing and flossing to remove the oral plaque that has been loosened up.

Father and daughter brushing their teeth in the mirror.

Brush at a 45° angle!

Start by taking a good look at your toothbrush. How old is it? You should get a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months because once the bristles lose their normal flexibility or become frayed they won’t clean as well.

Soft bristles are recommended for the majority of people because they are less likely to damage gums & tooth enamel. Electric toothbrushes can be helpful for people with reduced mobility. Begin by placing the bristles of the brush along the gum line at a 45-degree angle. The bristles should be touching both the surface of the tooth and the gum line.

“Soft bristles are recommended for the majority of people because they are less likely to damage gums & tooth enamel.”

Gently brush the outer tooth surfaces of 2 – 3 teeth using a “vibrating” circular motion. Then, move the brush to the next group of 2 – 3 teeth and repeat the procedure. Maintaining a 45- degree angle with the bristles contacting the tooth surface and gum line, gently brush using an up and down “rolling” motion along all of the inner tooth surfaces and gum line.

Then, tilt the brush vertically behind the front teeth. Make several up and down strokes using the front half of the brush. Place the brush against the biting surfaces of the teeth and use a gentle back and forth scrubbing motion.Be sure to pay special attention to those hard- to-reach back teeth and areas where dental work has been done. Gently brushing your tongue will remove bacteria and help freshen your breath.

Unfortunately, most people spend less than a minute brushing their teeth. Since many dentists generally recommend brushing gently for 3 to 4 minutes, brushing with the radio on might help since that’s the length of an average song.

Yours for better dental health,

Put Your Best Smile Forward!

Visit Laurentian Dental Today for Your Optimal Dental Health.