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How to Properly Brush & Floss

Maintaining a clean and healthy mouth through regular brushing and flossing is key to not only your oral health but also your overall well-being. While professional cleanings every six months help get rid of plaque, tartar, and other debris, daily home care routines hold equal importance. When done right, brushing and flossing keep your mouth in optimal health, your smile bright, and prevent severe illnesses.

Here’s why it’s crucial to brush and floss properly:

  • Avoidance of tooth decay – Tooth decay is a major contributor to tooth loss and often requires intricate dental procedures to treat. It happens when acids from plaque corrode the enamel on the teeth. By maintaining good oral hygiene at home, you can easily prevent this.
  • Guard against periodontal disease – A serious, progressive ailment, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, gum recession, and jawbone recession. The toxins in plaque cause this disease, which can have serious implications on your overall health. Regularly removing plaque and tartar from your tooth surfaces and between your teeth using a toothbrush and dental floss helps keep periodontal issues at bay.
  • Keep halitosis at bay – Bad breath or halitosis typically results from food remnants on or between the teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can rid your mouth of these particles, resulting in better oral health and fresher breath.
  • Prevent teeth staining – Stains or yellowing of teeth can occur due to factors like smoking or consuming coffee and tea. The more frequently these staining agents are brushed and flossed away, the less likely the stains will become a permanent feature.

The Correct Way to Brush

Ideally, you should brush your teeth twice daily, in the morning and before bed. Your toothbrush should be small, have soft, rounded-end bristles, and be no older than three months. The brush head should be compact enough to reach all parts of your mouth, and the bristles should be soft to prevent damage to the gums. Electric toothbrushes, particularly those with rotating or oscillating heads, have received the Canadian Dental Association’s (CDA) seal of approval for their efficacy.

Here are the steps to effective brushing:

  • Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to where the teeth and gums meet.
  • Use gentle, small, circular strokes to brush the gumline and teeth.
  • Avoid vigorous scrubbing or exerting too much pressure on the teeth as it can harm the gums and tooth enamel.
  • Brush all tooth surfaces: cheek-side, tongue-side, and chewing surfaces. Pay extra attention to the surfaces of the back teeth.
  • Use a back-and-forth motion to clean the chewing surfaces.
  • Brush your tongue to get rid of fungi, food particles, and other debris.

The Correct Way to Floss

Flossing effectively removes plaque from between the teeth, an area hard to reach with a toothbrush. It’s especially important for preventing periodontal disease and reducing gum pocket depth. Daily flossing is recommended, and the flavor or type of floss you choose isn’t important—just pick one you find comfortable and enjoyable to use.

Here’s a guide to flossing correctly:

  • Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long.
  • Wrap one end around your left hand’s middle finger and the other end around the right hand’s middle finger, leaving about 2-3 inches of floss between your hands.
  • Gently slide the floss between your teeth, moving toward the gum line.
  • Form a U-shape with the floss around each tooth and carefully slide it beneath the gum line.
  • Move the floss up and down several times to dislodge plaque and debris between your teeth.
  • Avoid snapping the floss in and out between the teeth as it can cause inflammation and cuts on the gums.

If you’re unsure about the correct way to brush or floss, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or dental hygienist.

We now have 2 locations for your convenience

From cosmetic dentistry to dental implants, Hastings Dental Studio is dedicated to providing the dental services you need. With years of experience and genuine hospitality, we prioritize the care of your smile in a welcoming office environment. Our passionate team is eager to meet you and establish a relationship that you and your family can rely on for years to come. Don't wait – call us today at (604) 416-5444 to schedule your next appointment at our warm and welcoming Vancouver dental office. You can also reach us by email at [email protected] or fill out our convenient contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Hastings Dental Studio

2652 East Hastings St,
VancouverBritish Columbia V5K 1Z6

Mon                       11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tues/Fri                   9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Wed/Thurs           11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Sat                            9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Sun                         Closed

(604) 251-5969


Hastings Dental Centre

2420 East Hastings St,
VancouverBritish Columbia V5K 1Z1

Mon                       11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tues/Fri                   9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Wed/Thurs           11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Sat                            9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Sun                         Closed

(604) 251-5969