- Proper Flossing Technique
- Proper Brushing Technique
- Special Aids
- Factors Increasing Your Risk


Daily flossing removes plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where brushing can't reach. Floss once a day, using the type of floss recommended by my staff. Flossing may be done either before or after brushing.

  • Take 18 inches of recommended floss and wrap it securely around your middle fingers.
  • Hold your index fingers firmly, allowing only about a half-inch of floss between them.
  • Gently ease the floss between your teeth and press it tightly against each side, forming a C-shape.
  • Ease the floss up and down several times, going below the gumline where bacterial plaque collects.

  • Brushing

    Careful and regular brushing removes bacterial plaque and stimulates circulation in gum tissue. Use a small, soft, angled brush with rounded bristles, and replace it whenever it gets worn or frayed. Brush at least twice a day, making sure to clean all surfaces thoroughly.

  • Gently brush toward the gum at a 45 degree angle. Use circular or back-and-forth motions, but don't scrub.
  • Work the tip of the brush around the inner surfaces of your teeth, including the teeth in back.
  • Clean the front and back surfaces of your teeth by using a vibrating or jiggling motion with the brush.
  • After cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth and gums, brush your teeth, then rinse well.

  • Special Aids

    We may recommend these and other special aids if you have implants, braces, or bridges, or if you have trouble flossing or brushing correctly.

    Floss mate: for holding floss comfortably and securely.

    Disclosing tablets: for checking how well you are removing plaque.

    Floss threader: for cleaning around bridgework or braces.

    Interdental brushes: for cleaning large spaces between teeth.

    Gum stimulators: for massaging gums and firming up problem areas after surgery.

    Interdental cleaners: for loosening food and plaque.

    Electric Toothbrushes: for increased efficiency in difficult areas or for more stimulation.

    Factors Increasing Your Risk

    The following factors can make gum disease worse by decreasing your ability to fight infection, decreasing the blood flow to periodontal tissues, or by irritating your gums. Even if only one of these factors exists, it's a sign that you need to be extra committed to taking care of your teeth and gums.

  • A poor diet
  • Tobacco use (smoking or chewing)
  • Pregnancy and oral contraceptives
  • Systemic diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes and AIDS
  • Medications such as steroids and anticancer drugs
  • Stress and anxiety