Hi guys and gals. I know this might seem like a funny article, but actually it will be one of my more serious ones. Check out the other ones, if you want a bit of wit. But I digress: as plaque on the teeth and in the mouth can lead to plaque in the arteries; this is very serious. Many people don’t know that. There is also a proper way to brush and floss, so here’s a few tips:
First choose the strength of your tooth brush. Many don’t even know that toothbrushes come in different bristle strengths. I always recommend soft for children and medium for teens and adults. If you need stronger, go for it. But remember we don’t want to over irritate our gums.
Use only a bit of toothpaste. Toothpaste isn’t meant for ingesting. So any more than you need, is not really a good thing. Using only a little bit also sets a good example for the kids, who are more than likely tempted to eat it.
Most dentists say you should hold the brush at a 45 degree angle. I say: “What if you have arthritis?” Just hold the brush the best you can to reach the tops and sides of your teeth. Brush the sides and brush the tops. Brush the top of your mouth, your tongue and in between the lips and teeth. However, brush your teeth gently. Remember when you choose the right bristle strength you don’t need to brush very hard.
Once you’re done it’s time to scrape your tongue. Yes, this truly gets the bacteria off, that can cause bad breath. Most people now a days have heard of this. You also don’t need to buy a fancy scraper. For those of us from the old school, use a butter knife. Make sure that you wash it daily though. We don’t want the knife to grow a city of it’s own.
Now on to flossing. If your teeth are very close together this is especially important. Food can get trapped in between your teeth and it won’t readily come out with brushing alone. I’m always amazed at what flossing will pull out even after I’ve brushed. I don’t recommend the new fangled little floss sticks with the picks on the end. A total waste of money; as you can only really use it once. You don’t want to use the same little piece of floss pick to keep pushing food that you’ve pulled out, right back between your teeth. I recommend an old fashioned waxed floss (see the picture) for easy sliding and as many yards of it as you can get for the price. Take both hands and hold the floss taught in your hand. Pull it gently down between the teeth and then gently pull it up. Slide the floss down to a clean part and go to the next tooth. Continue throughout your entire mouth. It’s time consuming but very worth it. Just ask anyone who’s had a root canal!
Lastly SMILE and smile hard. People will of course want to know if you have a mental problem. You can simply tell them you just did something very healthy for your teeth and wanted to show them off. Tell them you brushed and flossed. As smiling is contagious, maybe your good oral hygiene will be also!