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Tips and Tricks

Oral Care Tips and Tricks

How to Brush

Proper brushing takes at least two minutes that’s right, 120 Seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch.

 

How to Floss

Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach – under the gumline and betwen your teeth.

 

Proper brushing takes at least two minutes – that’s right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long.

To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch.


To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:

  • Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth,  then your lower teeth
  • Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth,  then your lower teeth
  • Clean the chewing surfaces
  • For fresher breath, be sure to brush your  tongue, too

Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from gumline

Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.

Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity. To find the right Colgate toothbrush for you, click here.

How Important is the Toothpaste I Use?

It is important that you use a toothpaste that’s right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpaste designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist which toothpaste is right for you. To find the right Colgate toothpaste for you, click here.

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.

Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach – under the gumline and betwen your teeth.

Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach – under the gumline and betwen your teeth.

Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended. To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:

  • Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue
  • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  • To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth

Use about 18″ of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.

Gently follow the curves of your teeth

Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.

What Type of Floss Should I Use?

There are two types of floss from which to choose:

  • Nylon (or multifilament) floss
  • PTFE (monofilament) floss

Nylon floss is available waxed and unwaxed, and in a variety of flavors. Because this type of floss is composed of many strands of nylon, it may sometimes tear or shred, especially between teeth with tight contact points. While more expensive, single filament (PTFE) floss slides easily between teeth, even those with tight spaces between teeth, and is virtually shred-resistant. When used properly, both types of floss are excellent at removing plaque and debris.

How Fluoride works

Every day, the enamel on teeth is attacked by acids produced in dental plaque. These acids can make teeth weaker, and can result in decay.

 

4 steps for Bright Smile

Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach – under the gumline and betwen your teeth.

 

Every day, the enamel on teeth is attacked by acids produced in dental plaque. These acids can make teeth weaker, and can result in decay.

How fluoride works

Every day, the enamel on teeth is attacked by acids produced in dental plaque. These acids can make teeth weaker, and can result in decay.

That’s where fluoride comes in. When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel and prevent tooth decay. It can even help stop the decay process.

How to get fluoride

You can get the benefits of fluoride from different places. It can work from the outside of your teeth, and from the inside of your body. To work the best, you need to get it both ways! At home, you and your family should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after eating breakfast and before bedtime.

Every day, the enamel on teeth is attacked by acids produced in dental plaque. These acids can make teeth weaker, and can result in decay.

  1. Brush at least twice a day.
  2. Floss every day
  3. Limit the number of snacks
  4. Visit your dentist regularly

It’s easy to guide your family toward good oral health. All it takes is the right information and a little practice to keep them moving in the right direction!

Snacking and Tooth Decay

If fluoride is our greatest protection against decay, then frequent snacking can be our teeth’s biggest enemy. Every day you and your family face snacking challenges

 

Dental Checkup

The dentist is your family’s partner on the Bright Smiles pathway. Be sure to schedule regular dental appointments for the whole family.

 

If fluoride is our greatest protection against decay, then frequent snacking can be our teeth’s biggest enemy. Every day you and your family face snacking challenges

If fluoride is our greatest protection against decay, then frequent snacking can be our teeth’s biggest enemy. Every day, you and your family face snacking challenges. Here’s what you need to know:

It’s how often you snack that matters

The truth is that what your family eats isn’t as important as when and how often they snack! It all has to do with the “plaque reaction,” and this is how it works:

The plaque reaction

Everyone has plaque bacteria in their mouths. But when these plaque bacteria meet up with the sugars and starches that are found in snacks such as cookies, candies, dried fruits, soft drinks or even pretzels or potato chips, the plaque reacts to create acid, and a “plaque attack” occurs.

The fact is, most snacks that you eat contain either sugars or starches that give plaque this opportunity to make acid. And each “plaque attack” can last for up to 20 minutes after you have finished your snack. During this period, the plaque acid is attacking tooth enamel, making it weak. That’s when cavities can start!

The plaque reaction

The good news is, you can take a stand against plaque! By brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and by reducing the number of times you snack each day, you and your family can help prevent tooth decay.

When it comes to snacking, it’s best to choose something nutritious and to snack in moderation. It’s also better to eat the whole snack at one time! Here’s why: eating five pieces of a snack at one time exposes your teeth to possible tooth decay — for approximately 20 minutes. Nibbling on those same five pieces at five different times exposes your teeth to possible tooth decay for approximately 100 minutes. What a difference!

The dentist is your family’s partner on the Bright Smiles pathway. Be sure to schedule regular dental appointments for the whole family..

The dentist is your family’s partner on the Bright Smiles pathway. Be sure to schedule regular dental appointments for the whole family.

A child’s first visit should take place before his or her third birthday.

Dental checkups early in a child’s life allow children to have a positive dental health experience.

TIP: Take your young toddler with you to your own appointment first. That way, the dental office becomes a familiar place.