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

Flossing and brushing your teeth are critical parts of your oral hygiene routine, but there are other important elements too. In order to best maintain your oral health and help to keep your gums and teeth disease-free, follow the steps outlined by our Dartmouth dentists below.


Brushing your teeth is probably the most important thing that you can do each day to maintain your oral health well-being. Brush your teeth two or three times each day for up to two minutes at a time. 

For ideal results, brush each “quadrant” of your teeth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) for 30 seconds. Carefully brush all the exposed surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs and biting surfaces, of each tooth.

Tip: Try an Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush makes it easier to clean your teeth. They require less effort than manual brushes since they perform the correct brushing movement for you. Choose an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head, as this makes the ideal circular brushing motion.

In addition, because the head of an electric toothbrush is quite small, it will be easier to clean those awkward and hard-to-reach places in your smile like your back molars and the backs of your front teeth.


You should ensure that you floss your teeth at least once each day,m preferably at night before you sleep. Flossing will dislodge the food debris and buildup from between your teeth and in the places that your toothbrush isn't able to reach and clean.

Insert the floss between two teeth and run it up and down the side of each, pulling it into a “c” shape in both directions. Proceed slowly and thoroughly, and be sure to floss 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 training and tools that are required to remove your tartar and plaque buildup that isn't able to be removed yourself with flossing and brushing. 

Your dentist will also be able to identify oral health issues in their beginning stages if they see you often enough and treat them before they become worse. Oral health issues cause issues like cavities, gum disease and tumors, cysts and other abnormalities that may not be noticeable to the untrained eye in their earliest stages. 

Because of this, it's critical that you get your mouth evaluated routinely by a dental professional.


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 actually help to prevent cavities. If you drink plenty of water, you will be able to maintain a sufficient flow of saliva, washing away the food particles that collect 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 keep your breath fresh, and prevent plaque from building up between brushing and flossing sessions. While they are not sufficient replacements for a thorough brushing and flossing routine, they can definitely help improve it.

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

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