Brushing and flossing

Brushing and flossing are important parts of your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you:

How to brush

  • Put the head of the toothbrush against your gumline and the tips of the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gumline. (You may need to ask your parent for help with this.)
  • Move the toothbrush back and forth, going in a circle and scrubbing, several times in each spot.
  • Keep the bristles angled against the gumline, while you brush both the inner and outer surfaces of each tooth.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces straight on.
  • Clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth by tilting the brush upright and making several up-and-down strokes with the front of the brush.
  • Finish by brushing your tongue, which helps remove germs from your mouth.
  • Rinse with water or a fluoride mouthwash to remove loosened plaque.

Brushing tips

  • Brush your teeth gently. Don't squash the bristles - that means you're brushing too hard.
  • Replace your toothbrush every two to three months, or as soon as the bristles are worn or bent. A worn-out toothbrush does not clean your teeth properly and can hurt your gums. You should also replace your toothbrush after you've had a cold.
  • Be sure you are reaching every tooth. The toothbrush can only clean one or two teeth at a time, so move it around a lot.
  • Try not to use a toothbrush with hard bristles. That can hurt your gums. Use a toothbrush with soft, end-rounded bristles.

Flossing tips

  • By the time you're eight, you can floss your own teeth. Try using a loop of floss. Tie the ends of a 10-inch piece of floss, forming a circle. Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers.
  • Floss your teeth the same way each time, so that you don't miss any teeth.
  • Floss gently, so you don't hurt your gums.
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