Brushing & Flossing in Somerville, TN

Introduction

The best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile is brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and turn into plaque, eventually leading to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Good dental hygiene can help avoid costly treatment in the future. Click on the buttons to the left to learn more about how to maintain your healthy smile.

Brushing

Brushing properly graphic.

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After dinner
  • At bedtime

Do not swallow any toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one.

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Step 1

brushing your teeth properly.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small strip of fluoridated toothpaste. Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, move the brush in small, circular motions across the teeth.

Step 2

how to brush your top teeth.

Carefully brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth, making sure to clean the back teeth and between the teeth.

Step 3

brushing your teeth illustration.

Use the same circular motion to clean the inside of the upper and lower teeth.

Step 4

How to brush your bottom teeth.

Brush the inside of the top and bottom front teeth by angling the head of the toothbrush up-and-down and brushing in a small, circular motion.

Step 5

How to brush your tongue.

Finish by brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth before rinsing.

Flossing

Flossing illustration.

For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day.

Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.

Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first few times flossing, let a staff member know at your next appointment.

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Step 1

How to properly hold floss.

Floss at least once a day. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser and wrap the ends tightly around your middle fingers.

Step 2

Another proper technique for flossing.

Gently guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, including the back teeth, to remove any food particles or plaque.

Step 3

Illustration of how to properly floss.

Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end.

Diet Control

Two ladies working out together.

A healthy, well-balanced diet can minimize or even completely prevent cavities and other dental problems. Limit your intake of sugary and starchy foods like candies, cookies, chips and crackers. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, are not only better for your overall health, but they can promote stronger, healthier teeth as well.

Dental Visits

Dentist checking a patient's teeth with dental tools.

You should visit your general dentist twice a year (once every six months). In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is vital to have professional cleanings and regular check-ups. Your dentist will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment. If you have a dental emergency, you should call your dentist immediately.

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