A Guide to Proper Brushing & Flossing


Proper Brushing & Flossing: a Guide By Downtown Dental

Maintaining optimal oral hygiene is fundamental for a healthy and radiant smile. One of the cornerstones of a successful oral care routine is mastering the art of proper brushing and flossing. Learn the techniques recommended by the team at Downtown Dental Group, led by esteemed Manhattan, KS dentists Dr. Juliana Hall and Dr. Daniel M. Winter. Learn more about our step-by-step approach to achieving excellent oral health through effective brushing and flossing by dialing (785) 776-0097.

The Basics of Brushing

Selecting the Right Toothbrush

Begin your oral care journey by choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles. The soft bristles are gentle on your gums and tooth enamel, ensuring a thorough yet non-abrasive cleaning experience. The size and shape of the toothbrush head should allow easy access to all areas of your mouth.

Optimal Toothpaste Usage

Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to your toothbrush. Fluoride is essential for strengthening tooth enamel and preventing cavities. Downtown Dental Group recommends using toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval to ensure its effectiveness and safety.

Brushing Technique

Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline. Use gentle, circular motions to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Pay special attention to the gumline, where plaque tends to accumulate. Brush for a minimum of two minutes to ensure thorough cleaning.

Don’t Forget the Tongue

Many people overlook the importance of cleaning the tongue. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Some toothbrushes come with a tongue scraper on the back, providing an effective way to clean this often-neglected area.


Mastering the Art of Flossing

Choosing the Right Dental Floss

Dental floss comes in various types, including waxed, unwaxed, tape, and floss picks. Choose the type that feels most comfortable for you. Downtown Dental Group recommends finding a floss that slides easily between teeth without causing discomfort.

Proper Flossing Technique

Break off about 18 inches of dental floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger on the opposite hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between your teeth using a sawing motion.


Once the floss is between your teeth, curve it into a C shape against one tooth and slide it beneath the gumline. Move the floss up and down against the side of the tooth to remove plaque and debris. Repeat this process for all teeth, using a fresh section of floss for each space.

Flossing Around Dental Work

If you have dental work such as braces, bridges, or implants, extra care is needed when flossing. Utilize tools like floss threaders, interdental brushes, or soft picks to clean around and underneath dental appliances. Your dentist at Downtown Dental Group can provide personalized guidance based on your specific dental needs.

The Importance of Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to proper brushing and flossing. Aim to brush your teeth at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bedtime. Additionally, flossing should be a daily habit to ensure the removal of plaque from areas between teeth where your toothbrush may not reach.

Benefits of Proper Brushing and Flossing

  • Prevention of Tooth Decay: Effective brushing and flossing help remove plaque, preventing the buildup of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. By consistently practicing these habits, you can reduce the risk of cavities.
  • Gum Disease Prevention: Gingivitis and more severe forms of gum disease can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene. Proper brushing and flossing remove plaque and bacteria, safeguarding the health of your gums.
  • Fresh Breath: The removal of plaque and bacteria from your teeth and tongue contributes to fresher breath. Incorporating these habits into your daily routine ensures your breath remains clean and pleasant.
  • Preservation of Dental Work: Proper oral care is essential for preserving dental work such as fillings, crowns, and implants. By removing plaque regularly, you extend the lifespan of these restorations.

Learn More About At-Home Dental Care, Call Today! 

Mastering proper brushing and flossing techniques is the foundation of a healthy and beautiful smile. By following the advice provided by Downtown Dental Group and staying consistent with your oral care routine, you can enjoy the numerous benefits of optimal oral health. Remember, a little time invested in your oral care today can lead to a lifetime of healthy smiles. 

For personalized guidance and professional care, contact Downtown Dental Group at (785) 776-0097 to schedule your next dental appointment. Your journey to a radiant smile begins with a commitment to mastering the basics of oral hygiene.

Downtown Dental Group

428 Houston St.
Manhattan, KS 66502

Our entrance is on 5th Street

Office Hours

8:30am – 4:30pm
8:30am – 4:30pm
8:30am – 4:30pm
8:30am – 4:30pm