Three out of four adults over the age of 35 are affected at some point in their lives because of gum (periodontal) disease.

Proper brushing and flossing is absolutely essential to preventing periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing will reduce and eliminate plaque buildup on teeth if done correctly.

Below are some tips on how to correctly brush and floss.

Make sure you are brushing and flossing properly.

How to properly brush your teeth:

We recommend using a soft or medium toothbrush. When brushing, make sure the brush is at a 45-degree angle from where your gums and teeth come together. In order to effectively eliminate plaque, you should brush in a circular motion using small, gentle strokes on the outsides of your teeth. Make sure you use light pressure when pushing the bristles between your teeth, but not enough pressure to cause any type of discomfort.

Use the same technique on the inside of the back teeth.

For cleaning upper and lower front teeth, make sure you hold the brush vertically. Gentle back and forth strokes over each of your front teeth will be the most effective way to brush. Also, gently brush the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth.

Clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by utilizing gentle and short strokes. Change the position of the brush as much as you feel necessary to clean all surfaces.

When finish brushing, rinse thoroughly in order to remove any plaque that may have been loosened during brushing.

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How to properly floss your teeth:

Many times, periodontal disease will grow between the teeth, where a toothbrush cannot physically reach. Flossing is the most effective way to remove plaque between the teeth, but must be done correctly to be fully effective.

First, tear off an 18" strand of dental floss. Wrap the majority of the floss around the middle fingers of both hands, leaving just enough to fit in your mouth and between your teeth.

Hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, and insert the floss between your teeth gently. Push the floss to the gumline, and curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide the floss into the space between gum and tooth until you feel a bit of light resistance. Gently push the floss up and down one side of your tooth.

Always rinse thoroughly at the end to remove any plaque that loosened during the flossing process.

Choose the correct oral hygiene products:

Automatic or electronic toothbrushes are safe for most patients. Oral irrigators will rinse your mouth, but are not effective alone in removing plaque. Irrigators must be used with proper brushing and flossing to be effective.

For toothbrushes with rubber tips to massage gums, you should consult with your staff before using this contraption. If the rubber tips are used in an improper fashion, gum injury can occur.

If you desire, you may use an anti-plaque rinse that is approved by the ADA. These may bring early gum disease down to manageable levels.

Our offices are located in Hattiesburg, but we gladly serve patients from surrounding areas, such as Taylorsville, Bay Springs, Soso, Heidelburg, Stringer, Petal, Purvis, Seminary, Columbia, Collins, Ellisville, and Waynesboro, Mississippi.

Contact us at (601) 450-5550 for healthier gums and teeth.

Staff is wonderful. I have recommended Dr. Cronin's practice to others locally. We are moving back to Atlanta soon, but this group and experience have been great.
- D.R.