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How to Properly Brush and Floss; This May Change Your Oral Health Forever

February 22, 2015

Filed under: General Dentistry — Tags: , — pontevedra @ 9:48 pm

Did your dentist is hygienist teach you how to brush and floss? If you are like the majority of Americans, the answer is probably no. Brushing and flossing techniques, if learned by instruction at all have traditionally been passed down from parents or caregivers. The problem is that most people have been taught incorrectly. At Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry, we strive to educate all within reach about oral health issues. As a result, we routinely post educational blog topics. Feel free to read more in our past blogs!

First, How Often Should We Brush and Floss?

This is an easy one but a great place to start. If we could brush and floss in a completely atraumatic manner it would benefit us to do so as much as possible. Those responsible for setting the standards that we are all to follow are realists. The current standard at this point is to brush twice per day and floss once per day. Although there are differences in opinion, many recommend the daily floss to be performed before bed.

How Long Should Brushing Take?

We would love to deliver some breakthrough news here and tell you that 30 seconds is all it takes to adequately brush. Unfortunately that is not the case. The standard for time spent brushing is two minutes. Many studies have shown that time spent brushing is potentially the most important factor determining the efficacy of brushing. It has been shown that some using optimal technique for one minute had inferior results to those using suboptimal technique for two minutes.

How to Properly Floss

First, if you would like to be certain that flossing makes a difference, we encourage you to read our past entry entitled “What is the Deal with Flossing?  Is it Really Necessary?”  With regards to technique, it seems most effective to defer to the American Dental Association.

What is the Best Brushing Technique?

Most dentists will agree that the Bass Technique or the Modified Bass Technique are the gold standard of brushing techniques. Charles C. Bass taught these methods and for many decades they have been proven to be effective.  There are several aspects of the Bass technique that may differ from the method you are currently using. First, the toothbrush should be angled at 45 degrees into the sulcus. The sulcus is the area between the tooth and the gums.

The angle in which the bristles enter that space allow the bristles to penetrate deeper into the sulcus and remove more plaque and buildup. Second, the motion to be used is important as well. Horizontal and vertical brushing motions do not effectively clean the area enough. The Bass Technique suggests a small circular motion to be used.

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