Home > Dental Care > Effective Teeth Cleaning and Flossing

Effective Teeth Cleaning and Flossing

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Cleaning Teeth Cleaning Flossing

While most people are aware of the need to clean your teeth twice a day, not everyone knows how best to do this. Many people spend years cleaning their teeth in the wrong way without even realising. This can lead to several problems, including irritating your gums, wearing away your tooth enamel and failing to remove plaque from your teeth and gums.

Effective Teeth Cleaning

When brushing your teeth, pay close attention to the gum line (particularly where your gums meet your teeth). Spend time cleaning between your teeth, as food and plaque can get stuck there and quickly build up. Over time, this can result in tooth decay and cavities.

Brush at a forty-five degree angle, and move the head of the toothbrush in small, circular movements. This is kinder to your tooth enamel than brushing each tooth from top to bottom or side to side.

Brush in the inside surfaces of the teeth, as well as the more visible outside surfaces. Many people forget to do this, and plaque can easily accumulate behind the teeth if it is not removed. Mouthwash will usually not be enough to remove plaque from here without brushing. Tilting your toothbrush vertically and brushing in small circles with the front of the toothbrush is an effective way to remove plaque and food debris from the inside surfaces of your teeth.

The chewing surfaces of your teeth also need attention. You can do this by moving your toothbrush in small, circular movements against the chewing surfaces.

Effective Flossing

Cleaning your teeth will not always be enough to remove all traces of plaque and food debris, particularly between your teeth. As toothbrushes cannot usually reach deep between the teeth, a different cleaning method is needed to achieve this. Flossing between your teeth is one of the best ways to remove the debris that could otherwise cause gum disease and tooth decay, but not everyone knows how to floss effectively. Flossing incorrectly can irritate your gums and make them bleed.

Ideally, flossing should be done every day. Plaque and food debris builds up all the time and both need to be dealt with regularly. Waxy dental tape is the best option for most people as it is slightly thicker than dental floss and is less likely to catch on your teeth and gums. The piece of dental tape or floss that you use should be around eighteen inches long so that you can use a clean section on each tooth. Dental experts often suggest winding it around your middle fingers, and using your index finger to direct it between your teeth and underneath your gums. Use a gentle back-and-forth motion to guide the dental tape or floss into the space between each tooth, and into the small flap of gum that surrounds each tooth. Your toothbrush cannot reach this area easily, and flossing can prevent the development of gum disease.

If you need to clean around bridges, you can use “superfloss” dental tape or floss. You may need to guide the “superfloss” underneath the metal bridgework to clean between the teeth properly. Plaque builds up here quickly and easily, which means that flossing is more than advisable. The fuzzy part of the “superfloss” is also useful for cleaning around implants.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: