Think of brushing and flossing as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s championship winning offense and defense. Flossing is the defense that skillfully takes plaque out and brushing is the offense that moves plaque away to take the lead in scoring the winning goal of oral hygiene.
Individually, brushing and flossing have different functions that support one another in cleaning our teeth daily. Where as brushing effectively cleans the front and back surfaces of our teeth, flossing cleans hard to reach cervices between teeth and underneath the gums. This is especially important because overtime any remaining plaque (food/liquid) turns into calculus which causes decay and gingivitis.
Proper Brushing and Flossing:
The technique in which we use to clean our teeth is just as important as the cleaning itself. Think again of the Tampa Bay Lightening. Each player uses a special technique that allows him to effectively play his position to contribute to scoring a goal. The first step is flossing. Position the floss between the teeth and rub in a gentle up and down motion. Do this a few times until the plaque is dislodged. Then fold the floss on the contours of the tooth to allow the floss to rub the front and back of the tooth. When all teeth are complete, rinse and proceed to brushing. Position the brush halfway on the teeth and gums and brush in a gentle yet firm circular motions. Brushing too hard can cause gum recession, yet pressure is needed to remove the plaque.
The best type of floss is the string variety. Sting floss because allows you to contour around the teeth better than the floss pick. However, floss picks are good at removing the debris on-the-go. Plaque under the gums that is curved around the root of the tooth is difficult to reach and best removed with string floss.
As far as brushing goes, a manual or electric toothbrush will get the job done. The most important factor is buying a soft bristled toothbrush.
Now that you know the importance, purpose, and techniques of brushing and flossing you too can become a leading champion in maintaining your oral health.
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