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PDA Provides Tips on Brushing and Flossing

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania--According to the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA), proper brushing and flossing are essential ingredients for maintaining a life-long smile. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on your teeth, is the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth, by brushing twice a day and flossing daily, helps remove these odor- and decay-causing bacteria.

PDA is providing brushing and flossing tips to make sure you correctly and effectively clean your teeth. Brush your teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or as the bristles begin to fray. Brushing Basics

  • Place toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes.
  • Clean the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
  • Don't forget to brush your tongue to remove bad-breath-causing bacteria.
    • Plaque and food particles accumulate between teeth and under the gumline, places your toothbrush just can't reach. Flossing your teeth daily helps remove food particles and plaque from these hard-to-reach areas. Flossing Basics

      • Break off about 18 inches of floss.
      • Wind most of it around one of your middle fingers and wind the rest around the other middle finger to collect used floss.
      • Holding the floss tightly between your thumb and forefingers, gently guide floss between teeth using a rubbing motion. Never snap it into your gums.
      • Slide the floss under the gumline by curving it into a C shape against the tooth.
      • Gently move the floss up and down to remove plaque buildup.
      • Don't forget to floss the backside of your last tooth.
        • Other interdental cleaners, such as picks, sticks and special brushes, are available for people who have difficulty handling dental floss. To prevent injury, consult with your PDA-member dentist on the proper way to use these items.

          If you would like a free brochure on brushing and flossing basics, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to PDA, ATTN: Brushing and Flossing Basics, P.O. Box 3341, Harrisburg, PA 17105.

          SOURCE: Pennsylvania Dental Association

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