How Brushing And Flossing Protects Your Smile

des moines brushing teeth

When you take time to brush and floss each day, you help protect your smile from serious complications, and can even help your teeth stay brighter. Which is why we want to make sure everyone knows how to brush and floss properly. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist talks about brushing and flossing.

The Risks of Improper Care

When we don’t take time to properly clean our teeth each day, this allows particles from our foods and drinks to remain trapped between the teeth or clinging to them, especially particles from items high in sugar and starch. Harmful oral bacteria then break them down, not only leading to higher levels of oral acidity, but weakening tooth enamel and inflaming gum tissues. Soon, your smile could develop bad breath, teeth stains, tooth decay, and even gum disease! Which is why report care to control plaque buildup is so crucial for people of all ages, from kids to adults.

Brushing Your Teeth

You should brush your teeth when you wake, and then once again before going to bed. Each session should take at least two minutes, so you can thoroughly clean every surface of your teeth. Approach the sides at a 45-degree angle to reach the top and sides, and use circular motions for the front facing teeth. You can use an electric or manual toothbrush; both are effective if you take time to use them correctly. The toothpaste you choose matters too! You need one that contains fluoride, as this helps strengthen the outer enamel to prevent cavities. You can look for fluoride on packaging, or for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

Flossing Nightly

While brushing is crucial, it cannot reach what is trapped between the teeth. For that, you need to floss every evening before going to bed. Take your floss, whether tape or a pick, and run it up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line in a “c” motion when you do. This will extract the trapped particles and limit the onset of cavities or gingivitis. This limits plaque buildup until you can see us for a cleaning, in which we gently remove all plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the smile.

If you have any questions about how to care for your smile each day from home, or about the benefits of a six month checkup and cleaning appointment, then give us a call today.


Taking time to clean your smile can help avoid teeth stains, cavities, and periodontal issues. If you would like to find out more about caring for your smile, then contact your Des Moines, IA, dentist, Dr. Burds, by calling 515-244-9565.