How to Properly Clean Your Teeth

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To properly clean your teeth and maintain oral hygiene, you'll need a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. Discover how to keep your teeth and gums healthy with tips from a practicing dentist in this free video on home dental health.

Part of the Video Series: Home Dental Care
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Video Transcript

Hi! I'm Dr. Mike Glasmeier of First Impressions Family Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee. And today we're going to be talking about the importance of dental care and where it relates to proper oral hygiene, and how to appropriately clean the teeth and the gums. The materials that we'll be using today to ensure good oral hygiene will involve using a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. For brushing teeth adequately, you need to make sure that you have a decent toothbrush such as a soft bristle toothbrush. Very important that it's a soft bristle to prevent further damage to the gums and the teeth. Once you verify that you have a soft bristle toothbrush, you basically take your toothbrush right to the teeth and just very in a very slow circular motion you're going to brush not only the tooth surfaces but you also want to get the gum line, and also the interface between the tooth and the gum line. And you'll basically go through and brush in a very small circular motion, go on around and making sure the bristle is coming contact with every single tooth. Once you've verified you've done that on the front side then you switch your toothbrush over, and you get the other side and do the same thing. Kind of of in a slow circular massaging motion, you're very gently cleaning not only the teeth and the gums but the interface between the teeth and the gums. After we brush the teeth, next step would be flossing the teeth. So we will take off a small piece of floss. The floss can be either waxed or unwaxed. And you'll take off approximately six to about eight inches. Once you've snapped the floss off, you'll proceed on with go ahead and flossing the teeth. And what we're doing is we're gently taking the floss in between the teeth. Kind of of a up and down sweeping motion. Not only dropping a floss down in between the teeth but pulling a floss across the surface of the teeth down to the gum line and back. We'll go through and do that on each surface of each tooth, all the way around. And once we've done that, we can process on to the mouthwash. The next step after brushing and flossing would be using a mouthwash. It's important to understand that after you've brushed and flossed, what you've done is you've dislodged any sort of food debris, and specifically plaque off of the teeth. You need some sort of mouth rinse to be able to use afterwards that help kind of do the final dislodgement of all sorts of food to minimize the chances of cavities or gum disease. Going through the mouth rinse would be the final stop. And in conclusion, those are the final three steps, the brushing, the flossing, and the mouth rinse to help ensure good oral hygiene.

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