a healthy check-up
Here's a new year's resolution you can sink your teeth into. Or I can, anyway. Floss regularly. No more excuses! For a healthy check-up, here are some tips from the American Dental Association.
How do I brush my teeth?
Brush your teeth twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay.
• Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
• Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
• Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
• Use the "toe" of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
• Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
How do I floss my teeth?
Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners removes plaque from between the teeth, areas where the toothbrush can't reach. It is essential in preventing periodontal (gum) disease.
• Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
• Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
• When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
• Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions.
• Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.
• Don't forget the back side of your last tooth.
And for a picture perfect bathroom, try giving your toothbrush the brush.