Get into a routine for brushing. Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime and after each meal.
Use a toothbrush with soft, rounded-end bristles and a small enough head that allows you to reach all parts of your teeth and mouth. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
You may also use an electric toothbrush that has been given the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. Studies show that powered toothbrushes with a rotating and oscillating (back-and-forth)or vibrating action are more effective at cleaning teeth than manual toothbrushes. We recommend the Sonicare electric toothbrush.
Use a fluoride toothpaste. Some fluoride toothpastes also offer tartar control, which may help slow the formation of hard mineral buildup (tartar) on the teeth.
For non-electric toothbrushes, place the brush at a 45-degree angle where the teeth meet the gums. Hold the brush firmly, and gently rock the brush back and forth using small circular movements. Do not scrub, because vigorous brushing can make the gums pull away from the teeth and can scratch your tooth enamel. Electric toothbrushes each have their own technique. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Brush all surfaces of the teeth, tongue-side and cheek-side. Pay special attention to the front teeth and all surfaces of the back teeth. Brush chewing surfaces vigorously with short back-and-forth strokes. Brush your tongue from back to front. Some people put some toothpaste or mouthwash on their toothbrush when they do this. Brushing your tongue helps remove plaque, which can cause bad breath and help bacteria grow. Some toothbrushes now have a specific brush to use for your tongue. Tongue scrapers are the best method for cleaning the tongue.
Use disclosing tablets every now and then to see whether any plaque remains on your teeth. Disclosing tablets are chewable and will color any plaque left on the teeth after you brush. You can buy them at most drugstores.
Floss twice a day. The type of floss you use is important. Choose the type and flavor that works best for you. Our personal favorites are POH unwaxed floss (found at smaller pharmacies), Reach Ultraclean, and Reach Total Care. If you use a plastic flosser then Reach brand flosser is by far the best.
Regardless of the type of floss you use, you must gently place it under the gum as far as it will naturally go and push or pull on it to wrap it around the tooth some and go up and down 4-5 times to clean the tooth. We can show you the proper technique.