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What are the components of a good brushing and flossing routine?

Brushing and flossing are important parts of your oral hygiene routine, but there are other essential elements as well. To best maintain your oral health and help keep your teeth and gums disease-free, follow the steps outlined by our Ottawa dentists below.


Brushing your teeth is probably the most important thing you can do every day to maintain your oral health. Brush your teeth two or three times a day, for two minutes at a time.

Brush each "quadrant" of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds for best results. Brush all exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and biting surfaces of each tooth, thoroughly.

Tip: Try an Electric Toothbrush

Cleaning your teeth is made easier with an electric toothbrush. Because they perform the correct brushing movement for you, they require less effort than manual brushes. Select an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head for the best circular brushing motion.

In addition, because the head is quite small, it’s easier to clean those awkward, hard-to-reach spots, like your back molars, and the backs of your front teeth.


You should floss at least once a day, preferably at night before bed. Flossing dislodges food debris and build-up from between your teeth, in the places your toothbrush can’t reach.

Insert the floss between two teeth and run it up and down each side, forming a "c" shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, flossing between every two teeth.

Professional Dental Cleanings & Check-ups

Visiting the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and check-up is essential to maintaining oral health.

Your dentist has the expertise and tools required to remove plaque and tartar build-up that you can't remove yourself with brushing and flossing.

If your dentist sees you frequently enough, he or she will be able to identify and treat dental problems in their early stages. Cavities, gum disease, and even tumours, cysts, and other abnormalities in the mouth are often not visible to the untrained eye in their early stages, so it's critical to have your mouth evaluated by a dental professional on a regular basis.


Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium helps keep your teeth healthy from the inside out. Restrict consumption of sugars and starches, because oral bacteria thrive on these.


Keeping hydrated can help you avoid cavities! Drinking plenty of water will help you maintain adequate saliva flow, and saliva washes away food particles that accumulate on your teeth and allow bacteria to multiply.

Supplementary Hygiene Aids

Oral hygiene aids are additions to your brushing and flossing routine. Good examples of supplementary hygiene aids include tongue cleaners, mouthwash, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators.

These aids can help you maintain fresh breath and prevent plaque buildup between brushing and flossing sessions. While they are not adequate substitutes for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can certainly help improve it.

If you have questions about how to improve your brushing and flossing routine, we can help! Contact our Ottawa dentists today.

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