Brush and Floss

Preventative dentistry is about more than just visiting the office of Brent J. Porter, D.D.S., your Santa Cruz Pediatric Dentist, twice yearly for an exam and thorough cleaning. In fact, the majority of your preventative care is done at-home as a part of your normal hygienic routine.

Proper Brushing Technique

With a soft bristled tooth brush place the toothbrush bristles against the gums at a 45 degree angle. Using small circular motions, starting in the back of one side of the mouth work your way forward and around the “cheek” side of your teeth. Next roll the toothbrush inside your mouth to get the “tongue” side of the teeth. To brush behind the front teeth, tip the toothbrush up for the lowers and down for the uppers to use only the tip portion of the bristles, brush with small circular motions. Repeat this technique on the opposite arch. And don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove all bacteria and keep your breath fresh!

Electric Brush vs. Manual Brushes

At the office of Brent J. Porter, D.D.S., your Santa Cruz Children's Dentist, we have found that a manual toothbrush with parental assistance is best used between the ages of 1-8 years. We recommend a manual toothbrush to be used till age 10, after which an electric toothbrush can be a beneficial part of an oral hygiene routine.

The American Dental Association doesn’t lean toward one type of brush over the other. It does, however, acknowledge that people with upper body mobility restrictions may better benefit from an electric toothbrush instead of a manual brush. Regardless of which type you decide is right for you, the ADA recommends that all brushes be soft-bristled to avoid toothbrush abrasions that can lead to decay and receding gum lines.

How to Floss Your Teeth

Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. So what is the most effective means of flossing?

  1. Pull the floss taught and slide it between two teeth with a see-saw motion.
  2. Pull against the side of one tooth, creating a "C-shape" and sliding upwards to remove plaque build-up.
  3. Pull against the opposite tooth edge using the same technique.
  4. Repeat this process for each tooth until all inner surfaces have been flossed.
  5. Don't forget to floss the backs of your last set of molars!

Need some extra tips?

The American Dental Association recommends using a strand of floss approximately 18 inches in length. It is important to only use clean floss as you move between the teeth. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by looping each end of the floss around your fingers and beginning to floss with the area closest to one end. If you have never flossed, be sure to ask Brent J. Porter, D.D.S. and team, your Santa Cruz Pediatric Dentist, for a quick in-person tutorial at your next check-up.

What types of results should I get from flossing?

You may not experience immediate results from flossing, but over time, your habit will pay off. Flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss, all of which can be highly inconvenient and expensive. A piece of floss that costs just pennies could save you thousands of dollars later on.

Please contact our friendly team today if you have questions or would like to schedule a visit with Brent J. Porter D.D.S., Santa Cruz Pediatric Dentist at (831) 459-9802, we look forward in hearing from you!