Must-Know: Dental Care Basics


The simple dental care routine, which includes brushing and flossing, that most of us follow determines our overall health. Hence, it’s imperative that one uses the right techniques. Here’s a handy guide to get started.

Brushing Basics

Having clean teeth is at the core of oral hygiene. The region where the teeth meet the gums needs to be kept clean to prevent gum disease. Likewise, gum disease and cavities, too, can be prevented by maintaining clean tooth surfaces. It is important to brush twice a day and in a non-rushed manner. Refrain from brushing right after a meal. Use a toothbrush or tongue scraper to clean the tongue as well.

The Right Equipment

One should ensure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and has soft bristles that sit comfortably inside their mouth. Electric or battery-powered toothbrushes are also effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, as opposed to brushing manually. If one has arthritis or other mobility problems, such devices can be of help as well.

Proper Technique

The toothbrush needs to be held at a slight angle; aim the bristles on the region where the tooth joins the gum. Brush gently, back and forth, with a circular motion. Be careful to not put too much pressure as it can hurt the gums. Keep brushing for two minutes and cover all four areas: the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces, as well as the tongue.

Cleanliness Matters

Don’t forget to rinse the toothbrush after brushing. Ensure it is air-dried, and let it stand in an upright position. To avoid cross-contamination, don’t mix it with other toothbrushes. Covering or storing toothbrushes in closed containers can also lead to the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold. Replace the toothbrush every three months or sooner in case the bristles aren’t intact.

Floss with Care

Be gentle with flossing. Gripping it tightly, maneuver the floss between the teeth via a rubbing motion. Keep unwinding fresh floss while rubbing against the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. If flossing is difficult, consider using an interdental cleaner.

Other Oral Hygiene Hacks

Apart from brushing and flossing, using mouthwash containing fluoride will also be beneficial for one’s dental health. Avoid using toothpicks as it can lead to gum injury. Smoking is also detrimental to oral hygiene.