July 28, 2004
PDA Provides Tips on Brushing and Flossing
According to the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA), proper brushing and flossing are essential ingredients for maintaining a life-long smile. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on your teeth, is the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth, by brushing twice a day and flossing daily, helps remove these odor- and decay-causing bacteria.
PDA is providing brushing and flossing tips to make sure you correctly and effectively clean your teeth. Brush your teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or as the bristles begin to fray.Brushing Basics
- Place toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes.
- Clean the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Don't forget to brush your tongue to remove bad-breath-causing bacteria.
Plaque and food particles accumulate between teeth and under the gumline, places your toothbrush just can't reach. Flossing your teeth daily helps remove food particles and plaque from these hard-to-reach areas.Flossing Basics
- Break off about 18 inches of floss.
- Wind most of it around one of your middle fingers and wind the rest around the other middle finger to collect used floss.
- Holding the floss tightly between your thumb and forefingers, gently guide floss between teeth using a rubbing motion. Never snap it into your gums.
- Slide the floss under the gumline by curving it into a C shape against the tooth.
- Gently move the floss up and down to remove plaque buildup.
- Don't forget to floss the backside of your last tooth.
Other interdental cleaners, such as picks, sticks and special brushes, are available for people who have difficulty handling dental floss. To prevent injury, consult with your PDA-member dentist on the proper way to use these items.
For more information on brushing and flossing, click here.
About the Pennsylvania Dental
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 6,000 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA’s mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania. For more information on PDA, click here.