Oral Health Care Habits

Brushing Tips

  • Worn out toothbrushes cannot properly clean your teeth and may injure your gums. We recommend replacing them every three or four months.

  • Brush gently with very short strokes and enough pressure so that you feel the bristles against the gums. The tips of the bristles do the cleaning, so don’t compress them.

  • Using a toothbrush with very hard bristles can damage your gums.

  • Be sure to brush thoroughly at least once a day - more often if possible. Children should clean their teeth after every meal and at bedtime.

Flossing Tips

  • Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and below the gum lines where your toothbrush can’t reach. Because tooth decay and periodontal disease often start in these areas, it’s important to clean them thoroughly and daily.

  • You may find it helpful to use a commercial floss holder. Children may find flossing easier if they use a loop. (Tie a piece of floss about ten inches long into a circle. Proceed, holding the floss tightly between thumbs and forefingers. Most children cannot floss their own teeth until age 10.)

  • Gums may be sore and bleed for the first five or six days after you floss - a sign that plaque and bacteria are being removed. Consult your dentist if bleeding does not stop in a few days.

  • Improper flossing may injure your gums. Be gentle.