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Why Brushing Alone Isn’t Quite Enough

You’ve been hearing for years that to maintain your oral health, you should brush twice daily for at least two minutes. But what if we told you that’s not right? Well, OK, it is right - but it's not the full story. While you absolutely should keep brushing two times a day for two minutes at a time, minimum, you should be doing a lot more. Here’s the why and how of it all.

Flossing is a necessary evil. Trust us, if there’s an excuse about why not to floss, we’ve heard it: "But my teeth are too close together." "It hurts." "My gums bleed." "My mouth is too small."

All valid reasons for not liking to floss - but definitely not good enough reasons not to do it. Flossing should be done at least once a day, preferably before bed or whenever you’re done eating for the day. Why? Because believe it or not, flossing can remove about 40 percent of the plaque in your mouth - plaque you simply can’t reach with brushing alone. As for those excuses, most of them can be easily overcome. Even tightly spaced teeth can be flossed with a little effort, and bleeding gums will go away with regular flossing, as will the pain.

If your mouth is small, try using flossers or floss picks, which may make flossing smaller spaces easier.

Mouthwash is one of those luxury items that we can live without, but why would we want to? After all, we need to rinse our mouths out after brushing either way, right? The nice thing about rinsing with mouthwash is that it gives your mouth one more chance to get clean before you finish brushing. Conversely, you may choose to rinse first - that way you can loosen plaque and debris prior to brushing, but then you may brush away some of the benefits of the mouthwash, too. Either way, it’s a matter of personal preference, but an important step nonetheless.

Bi-Annual Cleanings
Don’t forget to stop by and see Dr. Simpson at least twice a year for your exam and cleaning. Even the most meticulous people can get plaque buildup and cavities. A trip to the dentist every six months can reduce that plaque and make sure the entire mouth is in good health - and if it isn’t, we can help you get it there.

Ready to schedule an exam? Give Dr. Simpson’s office a call at 910-239-7151.

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