The Best Way To Brush And Floss

des moines brushing and flossing

When you take time to brush and floss your teeth each day, you fight plaque buildup and safeguard your oral health. But unfortunately, many people don’t know how to properly clean your teeth. Which is why your Des Moines, IA, dentist wants to offer some tips on proper brushing and flossing!

The Impact of Plaque Buildup

Over time, harmful oral bacteria will break down the particles of sugar and starch left behind by the foods and drinks we consume. In the process, this elevates oral acidity and coats the teeth in plaque buildup. Over time, this buildup will weaken and erode the outer enamel to make cavities and friction more likely. The gum tissues can also be inflamed too, a major factor in the onset of gingivitis and gum disease. Which is why in addition to a six month visit to remove all buildup, you need to care for your smile daily to limit how much buildup can form on your teeth before your next office visit.

Brushing Teeth

Everyone, starting as young as age two, needs to brush their teeth each day. First, you can use an electric or manual model, as long as you use soft bristles to prevent inadvertent enamel damage or gum recession if you brush too hard. Then use a fluoride toothpaste, as this helps strengthen the outer enamel. Put a pea-sized amount on your toothbrush and clean your teeth for at least two minutes. These actions help remove food particles to deny harmful bacteria a meal. You should do this in the morning and then again at night, regardless of holidays or vacations.

Flossing Nightly

You also need to floss! Take an 18 inch to 20 inch length of tape and wrap each end around one of your thumbs, and then hold it tight with your index finger. Then run it up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line each time in a “c” motion. You should do this every evening before bed, as this removes what a toothbrush alone cannot. Then, make sure you attend a six month visit so we can use an ultrasonic cleaning device and a manual pick to remove all plaque and tartar, before polishing your smile.

If you have any questions about caring for your smile from home, then let us know. You can also schedule a visit now and use your remaining 2022 dental benefits before they expire!


We would like to provide the information you need to care for your oral health. If you have any questions about how to keep your smile bright and clean, then contact your Des Moines, IA, dentist, Dr. Burds, by calling 515-244-9565.