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You have been brushing your teeth for years now. It’s practically second nature. You put a glob of toothpaste on your toothbrush, run it over your teeth, and you’re done, right? Well, even though the art of brushing your teeth is not very complicated, it does require a little time and effort.

First, take a look at your toothbrush. If the bristles are worn, flattened, or if your toothbrush is three months old or older, it is time for a new one. Purchase a toothbrush with soft bristles and a head small enough to reach every part of your mouth.

Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Brush along your gums, and then the fronts, backs, and chewing and biting surfaces of your teeth. To reach the backs of your front teeth, hold the toothbrush vertically and use short up-and down strokes. As long as you have your toothbrush out, remember to brush your tongue, starting at the back and working your way forward. It takes around two minutes to do effectively brush your teeth. Try timing yourself to see if you are spending enough time on the job.

You can brush first or floss first, it doesn’t matter as long as you do a good job at both. You will need 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around each of your middle fingers, and grip the remaining floss with your thumbs and forefingers. You should have one to two inches of floss to use. Start flossing at your back teeth and work your way to the front. You need to floss below, and then away from the gumline. Use a fresh piece of floss for each tooth, and dispose of the floss when you are done.

If you have questions about your dental care, or if it is time for your routine cleaning and exam, our dentist, Dr. Bruce Speake will be happy to see you. If you would like to make an appointment at Bruce Speake DDS PA in Topeka, Kansas, call 785-267-6301 today.