Proper Brushing

Brushing your teeth at least twice daily helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, the major causes of tooth loss. Use a soft-bristle brush remove plaque and food particles. Replace your brush every two to three months.

On outer and inner surfaces, brush at a 45-degree angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes against the gum line.

On chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth.

On inside surfaces of front teeth, tilt brush vertically and use gentle up-and-down strokes with toe of brush.

Brush your tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and freshen your mouth.

Proper Flossing

Flossing daily removes plaque and food particles between teeth and below the gum line. You may experience sore or bleeding gums for the first several days you floss. If bleeding continues after the first week of flossing, call your dentist. If you are having trouble handling floss, you can ask about the use of a floss holder or other types of inter dental cleaning aids.

Wrap an 18-inch strand around your middle fingers and hold a one-inch section tightly.

Ease floss between your teeth. Clean up and down several times while curving around teeth at the gum line. Don't scrub.

Always floss behind the last tooth. Unwind clean floss as you proceed.

Floss around the abutment teeth of a bridge and under artificial teeth using a floss threader.