your teeth and you

Traditional dentistry says to brush and floss AT LEAST twice a day, but Dr. Stout says if we all took perfect care of our teeth, we would brush 5 times a day, 2-3 minutes at a time. “You should brush morning and night and after every meal. If you can’t brush as often, a good compromise would be to brush 3 times: once in the morning, once after dinner, and once at bedtime.”


The old saying, “You don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep” is no joke.

But does flossing or brushing your teeth cause your gums to bleed?

When your gums are covered and irritated by an unremoved layer of accumulated decaying food, the blood vessels under the gum are exposed during flossing and some bleeding occurs. When it is not removed, that layer of swamp on the gums irritates and hurts them. When the sludge layer has been there for a long time, it can bleed a lot, but it will get better the longer you keep flossing.

You have to clean up the decaying swamp to allow the clean tissue to heal. When you floss regularly and remove irritating matter, the healthy layers of gum tissue and blood vessels will heal, and you will notice that your gums no longer bleed, no matter how often you floss. Floss once a day, gently when your gums are sore and more rigorously as they heal.

This pain is the first stage of gum disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left unchecked, can develop into very painful periodontitis, a serious gum disease that can destroy gum tissue, lead to bone degeneration, and loss of otherwise healthy teeth.


There are few techniques for flossing.

Loop method: It is suitable for children or adults with less agile hands. Take an 18-inch piece of dental floss and shape it into a circle. Tie it securely with three knots. Place all fingers, except the thumb, inside the loop. Use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth and use your thumbs to guide the floss in the same manner as above.

Cut a piece of dental floss about 18 inches, or about the length of your hand to your shoulder. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers. Carefully insert the floss between two teeth, using a back and forth motion. Carefully bring the floss up to the gum line (where the gums and teeth meet) and make a C shape around the tooth until you feel pressure against the tooth. Do not “break” your floss as it may cut your gums. Gently scrape the surface of the tooth with the dental floss. Do the same with the tooth on the other side. Use a new section of floss as you move between each set of teeth. Don’t forget the back of your last tooth.


“Choosing a type of toothbrush or toothpaste isn’t as important as choosing a SOFT toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. When it comes to how well toothbrushes and toothpaste clean, good technique is key,” says Dr. Stout. The American Association of Hygienists also recommends using a small brush head that fits better in your mouth. Toothbrushes should be changed every 3-4 months, as soon as they fray or after you’ve been sick!


Measure the time the next time you brush. Most people think they already brush for 2-3 minutes at a time, but in reality most brush for 30 seconds or less. You can pass the 2-3 minute time test by timing yourself, counting to 60 three times, or listening to music (up to an average song that is 2-3 minutes long). Try brushing in the shower with music. Not only will you brush longer, but foam at the mouth and dripping would be perfectly acceptable!


Avoid brushing too hard. You are not trying to descale, just remove soft plaque. Place your soft toothbrush against the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Brush gently (with very little pressure) in small circular motions to brush the inside and outside of each tooth. Brush the inner surfaces or the back of your teeth with the front of your toothbrush, holding it nearly vertical. Be sure to brush the back of your last tooth.


Floss and then brush for 2-3 minutes. When you’re done brushing, rinse your mouth out well and spit out. Take a wet finger and rub it briskly back and forth over the teeth, inside and out. His clean teeth will make a squeaky sound. When you can hear that squeaky sound both on the inside and outside of your teeth, you’ve passed the squeak test!


Finally, using a sweeping motion toward the front of your mouth, gently brush your tongue to remove any bacteria and food debris left in its cracks and crevices. Not brushing your tongue is a common brushing mistake that can cause bad breath even in people who brush regularly.


Even with routine brushing and flossing, you still need to see the dentist twice a year. This is your chance for the hygienist to remove any small amounts of tartar or calculus you may have missed along the gum line, etc., and also for the dentist to make sure your teeth are growing and aligning correctly. However, if you remove the layer of mud, heal your gums by flossing regularly, and clean your teeth two to three times a day, you will have healthy teeth and gums that will last a lifetime.

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