Oral Hygiene 101

The Best Oral Hygiene Routine

An effective oral hygiene routine starts with a few simple steps:

  • Brushing: To get the best oral hygiene results from toothbrushing, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, according to the American Dental Association. Use short strokes to move the brush over each tooth. For complete oral hygiene, be sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, including the front and back sides of all your upper and lower teeth. Also, gently brush your tongue. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months to maintain oral hygiene. (3), (4)
  • Flossing: Flossing helps maintain oral hygiene by removing bacteria from areas between the teeth that are hard to reach by brushing alone. To floss your teeth, start with an 18-inch piece of floss, and wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap a small amount around the middle finger of the other hand. Move the floss carefully up and down between each tooth, and make a C-shape with the floss as you reach the gum line. As you move from tooth to tooth, maximize oral hygiene by unwinding new floss from one hand and wind the used floss onto the other hand. (3), (4)
  • Rinsing: You can also include a dental rinse as part of your oral hygiene routine. A dental rinse is often recommended for additional oral hygiene if you wear braces.