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Brush Teeth 2

How often should You Really Brush Your Teeth? Floss Your Teeth?

by Dr. Peter Adams, DDS

Why is it so important that you care for your teeth and gums at home?

Brush Your Teeth Peter Adams Family Dentistry Chesapeake Virginia


Keeping your mouth healthy is up to you and that takes a combination of regular brushing and flossing. In this blog, you will learn how to brush up on maintaining an effective dental routine, and learn the importance of keeping up with preventative dental care.

The Power of Prevention

We all know we should be brushing our teeth and flossing daily, but how often? Are you thoroughly brushing or are you just glazing over the front teeth? There are very specific actions you should be taking daily to keep your dental routine effective.

How often should I brush and floss?

  • You should be brushing and flossing at least twice a day, once after breakfast and once after dinner. If you have the opportunity to brush after lunch, it’s desirable.
  • You should be brushing for at least two minutes. Set a timer or listen to a song while you brush to make sure you are being thorough. Make sure to floss at least once day as well.
  • Flossing keeps your gums healthy by removing food particles from around the hard-to-reach areas of teeth and gums, where toothbrushes cannot reach on their own.

How to brush your teeth

Brushing your teeth seems simple enough, after all you’ve been doing it since you were a child, but are you doing it effectively? Here’s a little brush up on how you should be brushing your teeth:

  • When you brush your teeth you should be doing the following:
  • Use fluoride toothpaste, applying a pea-sized dot to your toothbrush.
  • Tilt your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
  • Do not stop brushing when the toothpaste on your brush is gone or your mouth is full of foam. Brush until you have thoroughly brushed all teeth. Spit when necessary.
  • Make sure you are brushing all surfaces of your teeth including top, bottom, inside, outside, and chewing surfaces.
  • Repeat back and forth motions gently 6-8 times on every set of three teeth.
  • To clean the inside of your teeth, turn the toothbrush vertically and use up and down motions.
  • Use small strokes on tooth surfaces to get in the grooves and remove food particles.
  • Make sure to lightly brush your tongue after you brush your teeth to remove bacteria, and keep your breath fresh.
  • Replace your soft-bristled toothbrush once every four months.

Click here to learn more about how to brush your teeth from the American Dental Association.

Floss Your Teeth Peter Adams Family Dentistry Chesapeake VirginiaHow to floss your teeth

  • Tear off an 18 to 24-inch section of dental floss, wrapping it around the index fingers of both hands. Leave a 3-4-inch strand of floss between your fingers to work through your teeth.
  • Use your thumbs to floss your upper teeth and your index fingers to floss your bottom teeth.
  • Slide the floss gently between your teeth and gums using a back and forth motion, making sure not to shove down too aggressively, which can cause your gums to bleed.
  • Move the floss in a “C” shape around the side of the tooth, up or down to where it meets the gum line, keeping a back and forth motion.
  • Unwind new 3-4 inch lengths of floss as you go, making sure to floss every tooth, even the back of your rear molars.

Click here to learn more about how to floss your teeth from the American Dental Association.

What can happen if I don’t keep up with my preventative dental care?

When you don’t keep up with preventative dental care, you are more likely to have problems that will cause you to need restorative dental treatments such as fillings and crowns. Your gums may not stay healthy, and you may develop gum disease, which can lead to tissue and tooth loss, and has even been linked to heart disease. Maintaining good dental habits will prevent you from dealing with these serious problems later.


Dr. Peter Adams is a dentist who promotes preventative dental care in Chesapeake, Virginia. His motto is “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.” Dr. Adams’ practice, Peter Adams Family Dentistry offers the following preventative dental care services in addition to regular dental cleanings:

  • Fluoride Varnish
  • Sealants
  • Xylitol
  • Prevident Toothpaste


Click here to learn more about these preventative treatments. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Adams call (757) 547-0222



Dr. Peter Adams – Dr. Peter Adams Family Dental practice in Chesapeake Virginia provides personalized RestorativePreventative, and Cosmetic Dentistry, including Sleep Apnea, Teeth Whitening, Periodontal Disease and Emergency Dental Care for your entire family. Dr. Peter Adams has been practicing general dentistry for over 30 years. He served as a general dentist in the United States Navy for 16 years and has been practicing in the Hampton Roads area for the past 16 years.

Call now to schedule your appointment at our
Chesapeake Virginia Dental office! (757) 547-0222


Photos courtesy of marin (woman) and artur84I (man)