Your smile depends on simple dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing. But are you using the right techniques? Follow these steps to protect your oral health
What to do:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day. When you brush, don't rush. Take enough time to do a thorough job.
Use the proper equipment. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush effectively.
Know when to replace your toothbrush. Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months - or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
You can't reach the tight spaces between your teeth or under your gumline with a toothbrush. That's why daily flossing is important.
Don't skimp. Break off about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on the other hand - leaving about 1 inch (3 centimeters) to floss your first tooth.
Keep it up. If you have trouble getting floss through your teeth, try the waxed variety. If it's hard to manipulate the floss, use a floss holder or an interdental cleaner - such as a dental pick or stick designed to clean between the teeth.
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