What You Should Be Doing at Home

Now that we’re in the midst of another New England winter, it can seem like we have to spend tons of time blowing snow, raking our roofs, basically working to keep the snow from taking over. Along that line, we pay lots of attention to our snowblowers and their maintenance.

If only we paid the same kind of attention to the maintenance of our teeth.

Despite their importance, many people take their oral health for granted. If your snowblower breaks down, you can always use a shovel. But if your teeth break down, you’re headed for a long road of pain.

Maintaining your teeth is far easier than maintaining your snowblower. Healthy teeth start at home. So, here’s what Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress would like to see you doing for your home dental health care.

What is the proper way of brushing my teeth?

Twice daily is the proper amount for brushing your teeth, although you can do it three times. Use a soft-bristled brush (bristles that are too stiff can damage your tooth enamel and make your gums recede) and use gentle pressure. Brushing too firmly can damage your enamel. You should brush for around two minutes, 30 seconds per quarter of your mouth. Here’s how to brush teeth properly:

  • Position your tooth brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Using small, circular strokes, gently brush the teeth while making sure that the bristles are also touching the gums. Use overlapping circles to cover all the tooth surfaces.
  • When brushing, make sure the inner, outer, and biting surfaces of the teeth are included.
  • Using the tip of the brush, clean the inner portion of your front teeth.
  • It is important to brush the tongue as well to remove existing bacteria and to freshen up your breath. And don’t miss the roof of your mouth.

Electric toothbrushes are great, but not required as long as you brush diligently. Use a toothpaste with flouride.

What is the correct way of flossing my teeth?

You should floss between your teeth once daily. Flossing has two purposes. It removes food debris and plaque from between the teeth, and it stimulates the gums. Follow these steps to properly floss your teeth:

  • Use a piece around 18 inches long. Wrap the thread around your middle fingers and leave 2 inches of thread in between your fingers.
  • Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently insert the floss in between each tooth and clean the area following a sawing motion.
  • Hold the floss in a “C” shape on each tooth as well as under the gumline. Move the thread up and down to clean every side of the tooth.

If you want more conveniece, you can purchase floss holders. Flavored floss? If you like mint and it will make you actually floss, then by all means buy it!

There. That wasn’t so hard, now was it? And you didn’t have to change a drive belt or clean out a single carburetor!

Practice this hygiene routine and come see us at Kalil & Kress twice yearly for your professional cleanings and exams, and you should have a future that includes a healthy smile. As for your snowblower maintenance, spring’s not too far off.

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