The WPFD Blog

Brushing Basics: A Comprehensive Guide to Keeping Your Smile Bright

June 8, 2023
6 min read
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Brushing Basics: A Comprehensive Guide to Keeping Your Smile Bright

A bright, healthy smile is not just an aesthetic asset but a testament and contribution to your overall well-being. A key component to maintaining your health is understanding proper oral hygiene. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the essentials of oral hygiene, from the right way to brush and the role of toothpaste to the importance of flossing and mouthwash.

All About Tooth Brushing

The foundation of a successful oral hygiene routine starts with proper tooth brushing. Similar to the way warm water can aid in effectively cleaning dishes, warm water is also beneficial when brushing your teeth. Warm water helps loosen food and soften the bristles of your toothbrush, making them more effective at removing plaque and food particles. Aim to brush your teeth twice daily – in the morning and before bed. When brushing, focus on maintaining a 45-degree angle at the gum line. This angle, as advised by Periodontist Dr. Sasha Ross at the Cleveland Clinic, helps target the plaque that gathers at the junction where the tooth meets the gum, preventing gum disease and cavities.

The Importance of Toothpaste

Toothpaste plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health. It not only helps in cleaning teeth but also delivers important ingredients, such as fluoride, to strengthen your teeth. However, a common misconception is that more toothpaste equals cleaner teeth. According to Dr. Tien Jiang, a prosthodontist at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste is sufficient for effective cleaning. Interestingly, leaving some toothpaste residue on overnight, instead of rinsing it out completely, can provide extended protection against cavities and gum disease. When choosing your toothpaste, consider your unique needs and goals for your oral health. Toothpastes are available for various purposes such as enamel restoration, teeth whitening, or sensitivity relief.

The Essential Habit of Flossing

Flossing is an essential part of an oral hygiene routine that is often overlooked. It serves to remove food particles and plaque lodged between your teeth, where your toothbrush can't reach, reducing the risk of gum disease and cavities. Dr. Sasha Ross advises flossing at least once a day, either before or after brushing. While flossing, be gentle to avoid causing any harm to your gums, but make sure to be thorough and clean all sides of your teeth. It's important to remember that effective flossing takes time and patience, but the benefits to your health are well worth the effort.

Mouthwash and Rinsing: The Final Touch

The final touch to your oral hygiene routine should be rinsing with a mouthwash. Mouthwash serves multiple purposes, including reducing the risk of gum disease, preventing tooth decay, and freshening your breath. However, timing is crucial when using mouthwash. To ensure that the fluoride from your toothpaste gets properly absorbed by your teeth, you should wait at least 30 minutes after brushing before using mouthwash. This way, you allow your toothpaste to fully do its job of strengthening and protecting your teeth.


Maintaining good oral health is not just about annual visits to the dentist's office; it's primarily about your daily habits at home. By adhering to the guide provided in this article, you can not only improve your oral health but also keep your smile looking bright. Remember, good oral health contributes significantly to your overall health and wellbeing. Here's a quick summary of the main points for easy recall:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with warm water, maintaining a 45-degree angle at the gum line
  • Use a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste and consider leaving some residue overnight for extended protection
  • Choose toothpaste based on your specific oral health needs
  • Floss at least once a day, being gentle to avoid causing harm to your gums
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after brushing before using mouthwash
  • With these tips in mind, let's strive to master the art of oral hygiene and gift ourselves the joy of a radiant, healthy smile.

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