Preventive Care

Whether you are a child, a teen, or an adult, brushing and flossing at home, as well as getting professional cleanings at our Hunt Valley dental office, are the most important things you can do to prevent oral health problems.

Why is brushing and flossing so important?

We all have two kinds of bacteria in our mouth: the kind that cause cavities and the kind that cause gum disease. The main goal with brushing and flossing is to remove the bacteria-filled plaque from your teeth and gums, in order to prevent cavities and gum disease from forming. Both usually begin between the teeth, which is why flossing is so important as well.

When should I brush?

Brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night before bed, two minutes each time you brush. You should also floss at least once a day, ideally before brushing.

Did you know…?

Generally, people who use a manual toothbrush only brush for 30 seconds! An electric toothbrush is better because it usually has a timer, so you can make sure you’re brushing for two minutes. Plus, the amount of movements an electric toothbrush makes in one use is equal to that of using a manual toothbrush for one month! If you have questions about which electric toothbrush is right for you, ask Dr. Nathanson or a member of our Hunt Valley team. 

Printable instructions >

 

Brushing Instructions
  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 1

    Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 2

    Brush gently in a circular motion.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 3

    Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 4

    Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

 

Flossing Instructions
  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 1

    Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 2

    Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 3

    Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 4

    Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.

 

American Dental Association Academy of General Dentistry American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine WCLI Institute
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