How to floss and brush properly

 How to floss properly:

There are two types of dental floss: waxed and non-waxed.  The selection of dental floss based on the tightness of a contact between two teeth:
  • For a not too tight contact, use the non-waxed dental floss
  • For a tight contact with filling contacting an adjacent tooth, use the waxed dental floss
The best dental floss that is most efficient removes dental plaque between tight contacts without shredding is Glide Dental Floss.

Recent years, dental floss holders have been developed in different shapes and sizes. Floss holders may add the convenient to flossing while away from home, but the efficiency of plaque removal is less than hand-held method.

To floss the tooth with bridges, braces, implants or very tight contacts; use Floss Threaders, which is designed to slide easily under the bridges and orthodontic appliances.



Steps of proper flossing:

Cut 18 inches of floss; Wind most of the floss around left middle finger


Wind the rest of dental floss around the right middle finger 


Hold dental floss with thumbs and forefingers with 1 inch apart between 2 thumbs

Insert floss between teeth with gentle saw motion

Wrapping the floss around the tooth, allow the floss to go below the gumline

Scrape the floss up and down the tooth several times until no plaque or food remnants
Advance floss after each cleaning by unwind the floss in one finger and wind the floss on the other. Continue flossing the side of each tooth until finish.

Recent years, dental floss holders have been developed to accommodate those who want to floss while away from home.  Floss holders are available in different shapes and sizes; some are disposable, and some are refillable. Floss holders may add the convenient to flossing away from home, but the efficiency of plaque removal are less than hand-held method.

To floss the tooth with bridges, braces, implants or tight contacts; use Threader Floss which is designed to slide easily under the bridges or close contacts.


Brushing

For a toothbrush, Select toothbrush with soft-bristled the size that fit your mouth and brush with gentle strokes.  Brush your teeth after each meal.

For toothpaste, avoid toothpaste that contains:
  1. Polyethylene (microbeads) which may pack into the gingival crevices, results in gingival inflammation
  2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which may cause irritation to the gingival tissue, results in aphthous ulcers
  3. Calcium carbonate, silica, dicalcium phosphate.  Prolong use of too abrasive toothpaste can eventually remove enamel from the tooth surfaces.  Based on RDA values (Radioactive Dentin Abrasion), American Dental Association recommends maximum limit of 250 while FDA maximum limit is 200
  4. Methylparaben that has been found to link to cancer
The term RDA is used to describe the level of abrasiveness of the tooth cleaning agents on the tooth surface. RDA values are categorized as follow:

0-70   Low abrasive levels

70-100  Medium abrasive levels
100-150  Highly abrasive levels
150-250  Extremely high levels and could be hazardous

Below is a list of some toothpastes with RDA value from low to high:

Straight Baking Soda 7
Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder 8
Arm & Hammer Dental Care 35
Oxyfresh 45
Tom's of Maine Sensitive 49
Arm & Hammer Peroxicare 49
Rembrandt Original 53
CloSYS 53
Tom's of Maine Children's  57
Colgate Regular 68
Colgate Total 70
Sensodyne 79
Aim 80
Tooth and Gum Care 83
Colgate Sensitive Max Strength 83
Aquafresh Sensitive 91
Tom's of Maine Regular 93
Crest Regular 95
Mentadent 103
Sensodyne Extra Whitening 104
Colgate Platinum 106
Crest Sensitivity 107
Colgate Herbal 110
Aquafresh Whitening 113
Arm & Hammer Tarter Control 117
Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel 117
Close-up with Baking Soda 120
Colgate Whitening 124
Crest Extra Whitening 130
Ultra Brite 133
Crest MultiCare Whitening 144
Colgate Baking Soda Whitening 145
Pepsodent 150
Colgate Tarter Control 165
Colgate 2-in-1 Tarter Control/White 200


How to brush properly:

Front and back outer surfaces - Place brush 45 degrees angle to the gums;
move the brush sideways gently in short strokes, rotate toward chewing surfaces





Inside front teeth - place tip of the brush at the gums then rotate up toward biting surfaces

Inside back teeth - Place brush 45 degrees angle to the gums;
move the brush sideways gently in short strokes then rotate toward chewing surfaces

Chewing surfaces - Place brush on top of chewing surfaces and scrub back and forth





Reference:
Microbiology of Dental Plaque by Dr. Susan Kinder Haake
American Dental Association