Taking Care of Your Teeth

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Thanks to better at-home care and in-office dental treatments, more people are keeping their teeth throughout their lives. Some diseases and conditions can maTaking Care of Your Teeth

Thanks to better at-home care and in-office dental treatments, more people are keeping their teeth throughout their lives. Some diseases and conditions can make dental disease and tooth loss more likely. But most of us have a good deal of control over whether we keep our teeth into old age.

The most important thing you can do is to brush and floss your teeth each day.

Most mouth woes are caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria, bits of food and other organic matter that forms on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque make acids that cause cavities. Plaque also leads to periodontal (gum) disease. This can become a serious infection. It can damage bone and destroy the tissues around your teeth.

The best defense is to remove plaque before it has a chance to build up and cause problems. Brushing removes plaque from the large surfaces of the teeth and from just under the gums. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth. You also can use other tools to keep your mouth and teeth clean.

Read more about brushing, including a how-to video, as well as how to choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste.

Read more about flossing, including a how-to animation. Learn how to choose the floss that will work best for you.

Read more about other cleaning tools, including mouthwashes, oral irrigators and interdental cleaners.

ke dental disease and tooth loss more likely. But most of us have a good deal of control over whether we keep our teeth into old age.

The most important thing you can do is to brush and floss your teeth each day.

Most mouth woes are caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria, bits of food and other organic matter that forms on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque make acids that cause cavities. Plaque also leads to periodontal (gum) disease. This can become a serious infection. It can damage bone and destroy the tissues around your teeth.

The best defense is to remove plaque before it has a chance to build up and cause problems. Brushing removes plaque from the large surfaces of the teeth and from just under the gums. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth. You also can use other tools to keep your mouth and teeth clean.

Read more about brushing, including a how-to video, as well as how to choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste.

Read more about flossing, including a how-to animation. Learn how to choose the floss that will work best for you.

Read more about other cleaning tools, including mouthwashes, oral irrigators and interdental cleaners.

05/07/2014

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How to FLOSS

  1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.

  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.

  3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.

How to BRUSH

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.

  2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.

  3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.

  4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.

  5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.

Don’t brush off your oral health

Brushing and flossing are the keys to a healthy smile. Check out of products to find what’s right for you.