Dr. Petrisor Offers Tips on Effective Brushing and Flossing

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Toothbrushes seem to come in every size and shape, with a bewildering range of options such as the softness of the bristles and the angle of the head. What to choose?

  • We recommend a soft-bristled brush with a small head that will reach all areas of the mouth and remove plaque.
  • The shape of the handle and the angled heads are a matter of individual preference and comfort.
  • Replace your toothbrush at least every 3 months or more often if it shows signs of wear. The worn bristles can damage gum tissue if not replaced. Many brushes come with an indicator strip which tells you when to replace the brush.
  • Replace your toothbrush if you have been ill with a viral or bacterial illness. Toothbrush bristles may harbour viruses or bacteria and prolong your illness.
  • Some people, especially those with impaired motor abilities, may find an electric toothbrush useful.
  • Brushing after every meal and even after drinking tea, coffee or soda, is the best way to keep teeth clean and white. If you cannot brush right away, chewing sugar-free gum also helps remove plaque and stains from teeth.

Flossing Correctly

Regular flossing is essential to your oral health, removing plaque from areas that your toothbrush typically cannot reach. Children should begin flossing when their teeth begin coming into contact with one another.

  • Floss comes in two varieties, nylon (multifilament) or PTFE (monofilament).
  • Nylon floss may be waxed or un-waxed and comes in many flavours. Because it is made up of many filaments, it may tear or shred, especially if your teeth are very tightly spaced in your mouth.
  • If your teeth are very close together, you may wish to use the single filament floss, which slides easily between teeth and is shred-resistant.
  • Measure off about 18 inches of floss; wind most of the floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving an inch or two between the two fingers.
  • Use your thumbs to guide floss between upper teeth. Use the index fingers to guide floss between the lower teeth.
  • Curve the floss around the base of each tooth in a C-shape and, using a gentle sawing motion, move the floss up and down each side of each tooth.
  • Make sure to go under the gum line, but take care not to force the floss or snap it as this may damage the delicate tissues of the gum.
  • Unwind and use a clean section of floss for each tooth.
  • Brush after flossing to remove all debris from your mouth.

More Questions?

Learn more about how to keep your mouth beautiful and healthy by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Petrisor’s office. We’re always happy to answer your oral health questions.

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