Traditional dentistry says brush and floss at LEAST twice a day, but Dr. Stout says that if we all took perfect care of our teeth, we would brush 5 times a day, 2 to 3 minutes at a time. “You should brush morning and evening and after every meal. If you cannot brush that often, a good compromise would be to brush 3 times; once in the morning, once after dinner and once at bedtime.”
DO YOUR GUMS BLEED WHEN YOU FLOSS?
The old saying, “You don’t have to floss all of your teeth, only the ones you want to keep” is no joke.
But does flossing or brushing make your gums bleed?
When your gums are covered with and irritated by an unremoved layer of built up decaying food, blood vessels under the gum are exposed during flossing and some bleeding occurs. When unremoved, that layer of bog on your gums makes them irritated and sore. When the layer of bog has been there a long time, a lot of bleeding may occur, but it will get better the longer you continue to floss.
You have to clean out the decaying bog to allow clean tissue to heal. When you floss regularly and remove the irritating matter, healthy layers of gum tissue and blood vessels will heal, and you will find your gums no longer bleed no matter how often you floss. Floss once a day, gently when your gums are sore, and more rigorously as your gums heal.
This soreness is the first stage of gum disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis if left unchecked can become very painful periodontitis, a serious gum disease that can destroy gum tissue, cause bone degeneration and the loss of teeth that would otherwise be healthy.
There are few techniques for flossing.
Loop method: this is suited for children or adults with less nimble hands. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and make it into a circle. Tie it securely with three knots. Place all of the fingers, except the thumb, within the loop. Use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth, and use your thumbs to guide the floss the same as above.
Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches, or approximately the length of your hand to your shoulder. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers. Carefully insert the floss between two teeth, using a back and forth motion. Gently bring the floss to the gumline (where the gum and teeth come together) and make a C-shape around the tooth until you feel pressure against the tooth. Do not “snap” your floss as you can cut your gum. Gently scrape the tooth surface with the floss. Do the same to the tooth on the other side. Use a new section of floss as you move between each set of teeth. Don’t forget the backside of your last tooth.
DO I NEED A SPECIAL TOOTHPASTE OR BRUSH?
“Choosing one kind of toothbrush or toothpaste is not as important at choosing a SOFT toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. When it comes to how well toothbrushes and toothpaste clean, good technique is the key,” says Dr. Stout. The American Hygienist’s Association also recommends using a small brush head that fits better in the mouth. Toothbrushes should be changed every 3-4 months, as soon as they become frayed, or after you have been sick!
THE TIME TEST
Time yourself the next time you brush. Most people think they already brush for 2 or 3 minutes at a time, but in reality most brush for 30 seconds or less. You can pass the 2-3 minute time test by timing yourself, counting to 60 three times, or listening to music (to an average song that lasts 2-3 minutes). Try brushing in the shower to music. Not only will you brush longer, but foaming at the mouth and dribbling would be perfectly acceptable!
Avoid brushing too hard. You are not trying to chip off tartar, only remove the soft plaque. Place your soft toothbrush against your gumline at a 45-degree angle. Brush gently (using hardly any pressure at all) in small circular motions to brush the inside and outside of each tooth. Brush the inner surfaces or backs of your teeth with the front part of your toothbrush, holding the toothbrush almost vertical. Be sure to brush the backside of your last tooth.
THE SQUEAK TEST
Floss your teeth and then brush for 2-3 minutes. When you have finished brushing, thoroughly rinse your mouth and spit. Take a damp finger and rub briskly back and forth on your teeth, inside and out. Your clean teeth will make a squeaking sound. When you can hear that squeaky sound on both the insides and outsides of your teeth, you have passed the squeak test!
BRUSH THE TONGUE OR YOU AREN’T DONE
Finally, using a sweeping motion toward the front of your mouth, gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and food debris that remain in its cracks and crevices. Not brushing the tongue is a common brushing mistake which can cause bad breath even in people who brush regularly.
CAN YOU SKIP A DENTIST VISIT?
Even with routine flossing and brushing you still need to go to the dentist twice a year. This is your opportunity to have the hygienist remove any small amount of tartar or calculus that you miss along the gum line, etc., and also to have the dentist make sure your teeth are growing in and are aligned correctly. However, if you will remove the layer of bog, heal your gums by regular flossing, and make your teeth squeaky-clean two or three times a day, you will have healthy teeth and gums that will last a lifetime.
Source by Neustahija Brzic