What you need to know
Daily dental care is essential for proper oral health. Brushing and regular flossing are the keys.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and evening, ideally after each meal.
Dental floss lets you remove the plaque between your teeth that you can’t reach with a toothbrush. That is why it is important to floss every day, preferably before you go to bed.
Dental plaque is an invisible film that sticks to your teeth and builds up day after day. When plaque is not removed daily, it calcifies and leaves a hard deposit called tartar that accumulates over time. The build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to diseases of the gums (gingivitis) and the bones that support your teeth (periodontitis). Tartar can only be removed by cleaning at your dentist’s office.
Sometimes your gums bleed when you first start flossing. If this doesn’t stop after several days, you should consult your dentist. The first sign of gingivitis is bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth.
It is important to floss even if you wear braces or if your teeth are widely spaced or if you have a fixed bridge. If your teeth are wide enough apart, you can use an interdental toothbrush, which simplifies the task of cleaning between molars.
Choosing a toothbrush
- Use a toothbrush with a compact, rounded head, which will make it easier to reach all tooth surfaces.
- Choose a brush with soft or extra-soft bristles, to go easier on your tooth enamel and protect your gums.
- Make sure the handle fits comfortably in your hand.
- Replace your toothbrush or the tip of your electric brush when the bristles are bent or when a whitish layer accumulates at the bottom of the bristles (usually once every three months).
Enlightened adviceManual or electric?
The length of time you brush and your brushing technique are more important than the type of brush you use. If you choose an electric brush, make sure it has a replaceable head with an oscillating, pulsating motion.
How frequently you should see your dentist depends on:
- your oral health
- your oral care practices, in particular how regularly you brush and floss
- your general state of health and habits
The Order recommends a visit every six months. Your dentist may change the recommended frequency of visits, if applicable, following the examination.