It all starts with the right toothbrush. Choose a brush with soft nylon, rounded bristles. Place the bristles along the gum line at a 45-degree angle, making contact with the tooth surface and gum line. Gently brush the outer and inner surfaces of 2-3 teeth at a time, using a back-and-forth rolling motion. Tilt the brush behind the front teeth. Make several up-and-down strokes with front half of the brush. Place the brush against your biting surfaces and make a back and forth scrubbing motion. Finally, brush your tongue from back to front to ensure fresh-smelling breath by removing odor-producing bacteria.
Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months to avoid microbes that can cause cold, flu viruses, cold sores, and bacteria that can cause periodontal infections.
Everyone should use fluoridated toothpaste. Supervise young children. Place only a pea-sized amount on the brush, and encourage your child to spit often. Avoid flavored toothpastes that may encourage swallowing.
Wind the floss (about 18 inches) around the middle fingers of each hand, and pinch it between your thumbs and index fingers. Leave a 1-2 inch length in-between. Gently guide the floss between your teeth in a zigzag motion. Then, around the sides of each tooth. Remember to slide the floss against each tooth surface and under the gum line.