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How much do you know about brushing and flossing? Since you’ve been doing it your whole life, you may look at brushing and flossing and say “been there, done that.” But there is more to both than you may think.

For example, are you and your toothbrush old friends? Long-term relationships are good things, but if you and your toothbrush have been together for more than three months, it’s time to break it off. You should change your toothbrush at the very least every three months. If you can’t remember when you bought your toothbrush, or the bristles are bending, it is time for a new one.

Most people do not spend enough time brushing. You need to spend at least two minutes every morning and every night brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. You should hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and brush away from your gums. Brush the inside, outside and biting and chewing surfaces of your teeth. If you want to brush after every meal, wait for 30 minutes to allow your saliva to wash away the acids left in your mouth from your meal.

You should floss at least once a day. Before bed is a great time to floss. It does not matter if you brush and then floss, or floss and then brush, as long as you do a thorough job of both. You will want to start with 18 inches of floss, and wrap most of it around each of your middle fingers. Leave yourself about two inches of floss to work with, and give yourself a new section of floss for each of your teeth. Start with your back teeth and work your way forward, curving the floss around each tooth, making sure to floss below the gumline.

Brushing and flossing make up the foundation of good oral hygiene. But no matter how conscientious you are about doing both, they don’t replace regular visits to your dentist’s office for a cleaning and exam.

If you would like to make an appointment for yourself or a member of your family to see Dr. Rani Ramnath at Hoke Road Dental in Clayton, Ohio, contact us today at 937-832-8000! We look forward to seeing you soon!