Dental Patient Education


Brushing and Flossing Instructions


Complete Brushing

Brushing your teeth at least twice daily helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, the major causes of tooth loss. Use a soft-bristle brush and an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and food particles. You should replace your brush when it begins to show wear or every three months, whichever comes first. Some researchers have discovered that toothbrushes can be a source of reinfection after you've had a cold so replace your brush after you have one.

  How to Floss Patient Education Video
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For the best results, good technique is essential. Learn the right way to floss by watching this short demonstration.
2009 Colgate-Palmolive Ltd

 graphic On outer and inner surfaces, brush at a 45-degree angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes against the gumline.
On chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth.  graphic
 graphic On inside surfaces of front teeth, tilt brush vertically and use gentle up-and-down strokes with toe of brush.
Brush your tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and freshen your mouth.  graphic

Proper Flossing

Flossing daily removes plaque and food particles between teeth and below the gumline.

 graphic Ease floss between your teeth. Clean up and down several times while curving around teeth at the gumline. Don't scrub.
 graphic  graphic
Always floss behind the last tooth. Unwind clean floss as you proceed.


 graphic Floss around the abutment teeth of a bridge and under artificial teeth using a floss threader.

You may experience sore or bleeding gums for the first several days you floss. If bleeding continues after the first week of flossing, call your dentist. If you are having trouble handling floss, you can ask about the use of a floss holder or other types of interdental cleaning aids.

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