Everyone knows that proper brushing and flossing are essential to oral health. But there’s more to brushing and flossing than just “twice a day for 2 minutes.” At Beavers & Broomfield Family Dentistry in Fayetteville, our dentists will tell you that it isn’t just that you brush and floss, but how you do it. How you brush, and floss is just as important as your oral hygiene routine.
Do you know all about excellent oral hygiene? Put your knowledge to the test with this True/False quiz!
“It’s better to brush first, then floss.”
False! Even though many people would guess brushing first is better, we actually recommend that you floss first. Flossing first loosens particles that can then be removed by brushing. If you floss after you brush your teeth, those particles may remain in your mouth and end up right back on your teeth.
Not only does flossing first loosen those particles, but it also clears the way for fluoride to get between your teeth. That lets the fluoride coat the side of your teeth in places that are especially vulnerable to tooth decay. Flossing also cleans along the gum line and helps prevent gum disease.
“You should brush with fluoride toothpaste.”
True! The fluoride protects against tooth decay, so you definitely want to use fluoride toothpaste! Fluoride works with your saliva to strengthen your enamel — that hard shell on the outside of your tooth. The stronger the enamel, the less chance of getting cavities.
Most toothpaste sold in stores contains fluoride, but check the packaging just in case.
“Rinse thoroughly with water after you brush.”
False! Rinsing with water after brushing can feel like the natural next step. But it actually rinses off the fluoride provided by your toothpaste. That’s why it’s best to spit the toothpaste out without rinsing.
If you’re concerned that you will have too much toothpaste in your mouth after brushing, try using no more than a tablespoon of water to rinse.
“Wait 30 minutes to eat or drink after using a fluoride mouthwash.”
True! That 30-minute wait gives the fluoride time to work with the saliva (and the calcium and phosphate found there) and to absorb into the enamel. This is what makes the enamel strong.
Eating or drinking right away rinses the fluoride away before it can get absorbed properly by the enamel. It also puts food particles on the teeth that can lead to tooth decay before that extra protection has time to take hold. Giving the fluoride time to work gives your teeth a better chance in the battle against tooth decay!
“You should visit your dentist once a year for a good cleaning.”
False! The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist at least every six months for proper, thorough cleaning. Patients particularly vulnerable to tooth decay or undergoing dental or orthodontic treatment may need to visit the dentist every four months. Your dentist or orthodontist can recommend the best time interval for you.
Call a Dentist You Trust in Fayetteville AR
When you visit Beavers & Broomfield Family Dentistry, we’ll show you the best way to brush and floss. We’ll even teach you the best ways to protect your teeth between brushings. A little technique and a lot of encouragement lead to a lifetime of excellent oral hygiene, and we want to help you with both!
If you’re in the Fayetteville, AR, area, give us a call or request an appointment online to see how you can become a part of our family. We can’t wait to meet you!