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Oral health:
Brush up on
dental care basics
Your smile depends on simple
dental care habits, such as
brushing and flossing. But are
you using the right techniques?
Follow these steps to protect
your oral health.
Brushing for oral health
Oral health begins with clean teeth.
Consider these brushing basics from the
American Dental Association:
• Brush your teeth at least twice a
When you brush, don’t rush. Take
enough time to do a thorough job.
• Use the proper equipment.
Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-
bristled toothbrush that fits your
mouth comfortably. Consider using an
electric or battery-operated toothbrush,
especially if you have arthritis or other
problems that make it difficult to brush
• Practice good technique.
your toothbrush at a slight angle against
your teeth and brush with short back-
and-forth motions. Remember to brush
the inside and chewing surfaces of your
teeth, as well as your tongue. Avoid
vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can
irritate your gums.
• Keep your equipment clean.
Always rinse your toothbrush with water
after brushing. Store your toothbrush in
an upright position, if possible, and allow
it to air dry until using it again. Don’t
routinely cover toothbrushes or store