This article is about how to best brush and floss your teeth. According to current guidelines you need to brush your teeth twice per day once in the morning and once in night and floss once every day. It is also important to have correct brushing and flossing techniques otherwise neither is effective.

When flossing you should pass the floss through the contact points of the teeth. Before removing the floss it needs to be guided down the sides of each tooth pass the gums. After guiding the floss through the contact points of the teeth make fold into the floss in the direction of one or the adjacent teeth. This will cause the floss to take the shape of that tooth. The floss then should be guided along the surface of the tooth pass the gums and towards the tooth. It should only be taken a few millimetres below the gums or until the floss stop going further. Pushing too hard can be damaging. This process should be repeated for the other tooth in the same contact area. Every tooth in contact with another must be flossed.

Currently available is a product known as interdental brush. These small brushes are able to clean area between the teeth that are still in contact but with gums receded leaving significant gap. Your dentist can advise you on whether interdental brush is recommended for your teeth.

It is also important to have a good tooth brushing technique. Tooth brushing should take roughly two minutes each time. Brushing is done best by holding the brush with the bristles at a 45 degree angle into the gums where the gums meet the teeth. Then the toothbrush should be moved in small circular motions or in vibratory motions. Attention has to be paid to each tooth and to all sides of the tooth including the side facing the lips, side facing the tongue and the side at the back of the last tooth on each side. It should be done systematically so that no teeth are missed. Surface of the tongue, lips and cheeks in the oral cavity should also be cleaned after brushing the teeth.

Mouth washes can also be used which is optional to keep away bad breath and to stop plaque build up. But it should be used after tooth brushing only. Mouth rinse with a mouthwash after meals is ineffective.

Don’t forget, a good oral hygiene regime should be coupled with regular visits to the dentist to ensure compete dental care.