Between preventive visits, you should practice a rigorous daily oral healthcare routine at least twice each day. Our staff can teach you proper brushing and flossing techniques and recommend products suited to your unique oral health situation.
How can I be more thorough when brushing my teeth?
The American Dental Association and our staff encourage patients to brush their teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, about 30 minutes after eating. Use an ADA-approved toothbrushe with soft bristles and ADA-approved, fluoridated toothpaste.
Tips for Proper Brushing
- Brush in small, circular motions
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
- When you brush, the toothbrush bristles should massage gum tissue to increase circulation, which promotes gum health
- Make sure to brush all surfaces of each tooth
- Use bristles on the tip of the brush for cleaning the back of the front teeth
- Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day
- Use a tongue scraper or brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria
Is flossing important?
Flossing is as important as brushing, because it cleans between the teeth. Brushing removes surface debris and food particles but doesn’t normally address plaque between the teeth. When you floss, you remove plaque from between teeth and actually disrupt colonies of bacteria that collect at the gumline, reducing the likelihood of plaque buildup.
Tips for Flossing
- Choose waxed floss that is approved by the American Dental Association
- Measure between 12 and 16 inches of dental floss, or about the length from your elbow to your fingertips
- Wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers to ensure that you have a strong grip (Alternatively, you can tie the floss into a loop about 4” long and hold it taught between your index fingers.)
- Use your index fingers and thumbs to guide the floss gently between your teeth in an up-and-down sawing motion from the gum line to the tip of the tooth
- Curve the floss into the shape of a C to remove food and debris between teeth and the gumline
- Do not snap the floss against your gums, because this may cause gum tissue trauma
- Unwind a clean section of floss for each tooth
- Follow flossing with brushing your teeth
What does it mean if I am spitting out blood during brushing or flossing?
There are a number of reasons for light bleeding during brushing or flossing. You could be brushing too aggressively along your gum line or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush (unless advised otherwise by your dentist), and brush gently around your gums. Another reason for blood in your spit may be that your mouth sustained a cut from flossing, eating, or another injury. Keep mouth injuries clean to avoid infection, and alert Dr. Gross if you have mouth sores that do not heal within about 14 days.
Another reason for blood in your spit may be that your mouth sustained a cut from flossing, eating, or another injury. Keep mouth injuries clean to avoid infection, and alert Dr. Gross if you have mouth sores that do not heal within about 14 days.
Perhaps the most harmful cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease. Deep red or purple gum tissue can signify gingivitis, as can tenderness, swelling, and inflammation. If gum disease is not properly treated, it will progress and cause worsening symptoms. Periodontal disease is the leading reason for adult tooth loss, and it contributes to a plethora of other systemic health problems. If you notice signs of gum disease, contact Dr. Gross immediately for treatment of gingivitis.