Closeup of children brushing more effectively

How to Brush and Floss Correctly

By now we all know brushing and flossing regularly is very important for your overall health. But, how you brush and floss your teeth matters just as much as how often you do it! Just like anything, practice makes perfect, but the Canadian Dental Association provides very handy instructions on how to both brush and floss correctly on their website (link with pictures below). Here are the steps!

Flossing

Step 1

Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder.

Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder

Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands.

Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands

Step 2

Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.

Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a C shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times

Step 3

Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Don’t forget the backs of your last molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles. After flossing, roll it up in a tiny ball and put it in the garbage. Never flush floss down the toilet.

Step 4

Brush your teeth after you floss – it is a more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

Brush your teeth after you floss – it is a more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease

Don’t be alarmed if you see a bit of blood at first. If it’s been a while since you’ve flossed some bleeding is normal. However, if it persists be sure to book an appointment with Dentistry at The Grove here in Burlington to get a check up!

Now for the brushing!

Step 1

Brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. Direct the bristles to where your gums and teeth meet. Use a gentle, circular, massaging motion, up and down. Don’t scrub. Gums that recede visibly are often a result of years of brushing too hard.

Brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. Direct the bristles to where your gums and teeth meet. Use a gentle, circular, massaging motion, up and down. Don’t scrub. Gums that recede visibly are often a result of years of brushing too hard

Step 2

Clean every surface of every tooth. The chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side.

Step 3

Don’t rush your brush. A thorough brushing should take at least two to three minutes. Try timing yourself.