The Benefits Of Better Brushing And Flossing

flossing teethWhen you care for your smile from home, you help limit the risks of common oral health issues. Along with routine visits for checkups and cleanings, we urge our Livonia, MI, patients and their families to take time to brush and floss their teeth properly. In today’s blog, we’re going to offer a few helpful tips.

The Causes of Plaque Buildup

What happens when we don’t take time to clean our teeth at home, or if we do so improperly? Well, this could leave behind bits of food and drink particles on and between the teeth. Bacteria will then begin to consume these particles, breaking them down. In the process of doing so, bacteria coat the teeth in plaque, a sticky layer of buildup, and elevate oral acidity. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar and erodes tooth enamel. The risk of cavities then increases significantly, as does the risk of gum disease, as plaque and tartar are linked to inflamed gum tissues too.

Brushing Your Teeth the Right Way

When we brush our teeth, we remove food particles and reduce the severity of plaque. You should approach the teeth at a 45-dgeree angle to reach the tops and sides, then brush the front facing teeth with a circular pattern, reaching every available surface. We suggest using a toothbrush, whether electric or manual, with soft bristles. The soft bristles prevent inadvertent enamel damage if you clean your teeth too hard. Make sure the toothpaste you use also contains fluoride, as this material actually strengthens the outer enamel and lowers the risk of cavities. You should make time to brush twice a day, once when you wake up and again before going to bed, for at least two minutes each session.

Flossing Each Night

You also need to floss daily, which means running a length of floss tape up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line when you do. These actions remove the bits of food a toothbrush alone cannot reach. Every six months, you should contact our team for a checkup and cleaning visit. A checkup lets us examine your smile for signs of trouble, and a cleaning enables us to remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth with an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool. We then polish the tooth, offering our patients a brighter and healthier smile! If you have any questions about proper homecare, or if you want to schedule a checkup and cleaning, then contact our team today.


Our team knows that routine care at home helps strengthen your teeth and gums, improving oral health. For more information on our approach preventive dental care, then call the office of James Stewart, DDS in Livonia, MI, today at (734) 425-4400.