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What are the components of a good brushing and flossing routine?

Two important parts of your oral hygiene routine are brushing and flossing. However, there is another essential component to good oral health. In this post, our Ottawa dentists share a few tips that can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Brush Your Teeth

The most important thing you can do every day to maintain your oral health is to brush your teeth. Brush your teeth two or three times a day, for two minutes at a time.

For optimal results, brush each “quadrant” of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds. Carefully brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and biting surfaces, of each tooth.

Tip: Try Brushing With An Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush makes it easier to clean your teeth. They require less effort than manual brushes since they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, as this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.

In addition, because the head is quite small, it’s easier to clean those awkward, hard-to-reach spots, like your back molars, and the backs of your front teeth.


You should floss at least once a day, preferably at night before bed. Flossing dislodges food debris and build-up from between your teeth, in the places your toothbrush can’t reach.

Insert the floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a “c” shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and be sure to floss between every two teeth.

Attend Dental Cleanings & Check-ups With Your Dentist

Attending appointments with your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up is essential to maintaining good oral health.

Your dentist has the expertise and tools required to remove plaque and tartar build-up that you can't remove yourself with brushing and flossing.

Your dentist will also be able to identify dental problems in the beginning stages if they see you often enough, and treat them before they get worse. Oral health problems like cavities, gum disease, tumours, cysts, and other abnormalities are often not visible to the untrained eye in their early stages, so it's imperative to have your mouth examined regularly by a dental professional.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium helps keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. Restrict consumption of sugars and starches, because oral bacteria thrive on these.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated can help prevent cavities! Drinking plenty of water will help you maintain a sufficient saliva flow, and saliva washes away the food particles that collect on your teeth and allow bacteria to multiply.

Try Supplementary Hygiene Aids

Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Good examples of supplementary hygiene aids include tongue cleaners, mouthwash, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators.

These aids can help you keep your breath fresh, and prevent plaque from building up between brushing and flossing sessions. While they are not sufficient replacements for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can definitely help improve it.

Contact our Ottawa dentists today to schedule your next routine dental cleaning and examination.

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If you need a dentist in Ottawa, contact our office today. We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic.

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