Ask a Dentist

January 8, 2021

Q: I brush my teeth regularly, what else should I be doing?

Wooden toothbrushes inside and beside a toothbrush holder

Up your dental game by making sure you are brushing your teeth properly, and with the right equipment. Flossing your teeth daily is also a must. 

Brush Your Teeth Properly

It’s always good to go back and review the basics. Keeping your teeth clean will prevent you from getting cavities, plaque and gum disease. 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Brush your teeth gently because brushing too hard is harmful for your teeth and gums. Don’t brush right after eating especially if you ate or drank something acidic such as pasta, chocolate, sodas, wine and beer. Your tongue should also be cleaned daily with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.  
  • Use proper equipment when brushing your teeth. Partner a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste. Consider using an electric toothbrush – this can better reduce plaque and gingivitis compared to manual brushing.
  • Keep equipment clean. Rinse your toothbrush after every use and store it in an upright position. Do not use toothbrush covers and do not store them in a closed container - doing so can cause bacteria, mold and yeast to form. Replace your toothbrush or replacement head for an electric toothbrush every three months, and sooner if bristles are frayed or irregular.

Don’t Forget To Floss Daily

Your toothbrush can’t reach some areas of your mouth where food gets stuck, so it’s important to floss daily to clean those areas. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to floss properly. 

  • Take 18 inches of dental floss. Wrap most of the floss around your middle finger on one hand and wrap the rest around the middle finger on the other hand.
  • Guide the floss gently between your teeth with a rubbing motion. Make sure you don’t snap it into your gums. Keep the floss close to one tooth making a c-shape curve against it. 
  • Floss one tooth at a time. Slide it in the space between the gum and tooth. Then, gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwrap fresh floss as you move along your other teeth. When you are done flossing, roll the floss into a tiny ball and throw it in the garbage – do not flush it in the toilet.
  • You can also use other interdental cleaners instead of floss, such as a dental pick, a pre-threaded flosser or a water flosser. 

Other Dental Care Tips

Aside from brushing your teeth, cleaning your tongue and flossing, consider using a mouthwash with fluoride. If you smoke, you might want to consider quitting because it can cause many diseases including gum disease and tooth loss. 

If you live in or near Winnipeg, schedule regular dental cleanings and check-ups at one of the Dental Image Therapy Centres. Our clinics are located at Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre. We are accepting new patients!

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