Many people have questions abut the basics of oral hygiene when they go to the dentist. Technology and available products change all the time, and you may want to know if your practices have you on the right track. Some of the most common questions the Riverside dentists at Riverside Dental Group hear from patients include: “Why do I have morning breath?” “When is the best time to brush my teeth?” and “Do I really need to floss every day?”

Is Brushing Teeth Enough?

Unfortunately many people believe that brushing their teeth is enough for a complete oral hygiene routine. While brushing is imperative for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, sometimes your toothbrush can leave behind food particles and bacteria. Flossing effectively removes the food debris wedged between teeth to prevent plaque buildup along the gum line. This step is important for avoiding gum disease. Excessive plaque buildup along the gumline can create a gingival infection which inflames the gums and creates sensitivity.

What Are the Correct Steps for Flossing?

  1. Pick an American Dental Association approved, waxed floss.
  2. Unravel about an arm’s length of floss.
  3. Wrap each end of the floss around your middle fingers until there is about four or five inches in between.
  4. Use your index finger and thumb to guide the floss between teeth, keeping the thread taut.
  5. Avoid snapping the floss against your gums.
  6. Floss at different angles to remove plaque from all sides.
  7. Unwind the floss to use a clean section after each pass between your teeth.
  8. Dispose of the floss once you are finished.

Is Mouthwash a Good Substitute for Brushing and Flossing?

A mouthwash routine alone is not enough to achieve or maintain good oral health. In fact, some mouthwashes only cover bad breath with a minty flavor, but don’t kill any germs. Therapeutic mouthwashes employ anti-microbials to fight halitosis at its source. Some mouthrinses also include fluoride, an active ingredient for building the strength of your tooth enamel. However, mouthwash lacks the abrasives in toothpaste, the effective debris removal of floss, and the scrubbing action of a toothbrush to protect your teeth.

Visit your Riverside Dentists

If you have more questions about alleviating bad breath, preventing gum disease, and improving your smile, contact one of our offices nearest you. We serve patients throughout Riverside County, including Corona, Temecula, and Moreno Valley. We look forward to helping you and your family achieve optimal oral health.