Dental Care

Taking Care of Your Teeth

We all know how important it is to brush, but proper oral hygiene requires flossing as well.

Your teeth can last a lifetime with proper care and when you have healthy teeth you’re  just plain happier.

You won’t cover your mouth anymore when you laugh and you’ll find yourself smiling more as you enter a room.


Dr. Gilbert wants you to have a straight, happy smile that you’ll be proud to show off.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

Dental Tips

How To Brush Properly

by:James Quirk

Brushing your teeth is very important. You must brush your teeth every day so you won’t get cavities or gum diseases.

Everybody knows this, but do you know the correct way to brush your teeth? Use the proper toothbrush. It should have soft nylon bristles and a small head.

Soft bristles are gentler on your gums and will flex more easily to reach between the teeth while a small head allows you to reach all areas of your mouth.

Wet your toothbrush slightly.

By doing this, your gums will not be torn by the sharp bristles of the toothbrush. Squeeze a pea-size amount of toothpaste onto your toothbrush.

Your toothpaste doesn’t need to contain fluoride. Start on the inside of the lower front teeth with the handle parallel to the row of teeth, just as you would to brush the outside of the same teeth.

The concentrated “pea of toothpaste” will work harder at retarding the tartar that tends to accumulate here first.

Tilt your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums and wiggle the brush on the bristle tips, working on just two teeth at a time, for 5-10 seconds.

Clean the outside and inside surfaces of the teeth, as well as the chewing or “horizontal” surfaces.

Brush (wiggle) along the gum line.This is extremely important, as gum disease starts here.

Brush gently to avoid damaging your gums. Pressing harder does more damage than good. Make sure to get behind the molars at the back, where bacteria like to hide.

Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that cause bad breath.

Rinse your mouth out with water.

Floss after brushing. This helps get rid of bacteria and plaque between your teeth that you could not reach with your toothbrush.

You should also use mouthwash to make your breath fresh and clean.

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How To Floss Properly

Proper oral hygiene is about more than a white smile. Floss is able to reach areas a toothbrush cannot, and flossing properly is necessary for overall oral health.

Flossing regularly can help prevent gum disease, bad breath, tooth decay and more dental problems. Remember to floss daily by using these steps.

1. Cut off a piece of floss about 18 inches in length.

2. Wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Leave a space of about 2 inches free and wind the remaining floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

3. Use your thumbs and forefingers to hold the floss. Keep it taunt and stand in front of a mirror. Use a gentle rubbing motion to slide the floss between your teeth.

4. Focus on one tooth and glide the floss towards the gum line to create a C shape. Go beneath the gum line and stop when resistance is felt.

5. Work the floss up and down to remove plague and pieces of food. Repeat Steps 1 to 5 to properly floss all teeth. Unwind more floss as the piece you’re using becomes dirty.

6. Wind the dirty piece up onto the other middle finger and unravel a several inches of clean floss.

Repeat Steps 1 to 5 to properly floss all teeth.


How To Prevent Gum Disease

You usually can prevent gum disease by brushing and flossing regularly, having regular dental visits for exams and cleaning, and eating a balanced diet.

Practice good dental habits:



1. Brush your teeth two times a day, in the morning and before bedtime, using fluoridetoothpaste. Clean all sides of your teeth, and also brush your tongue. Plaque on the tongue can cause bad breath and is an ideal environment for bacteria. If you can’t brush, chew sugar-free gum, especially one with xylitol.

2. Try an electric toothbrush that has a rotating and oscillating (back-and-forth) action. This type of toothbrush is better at removing plaque than a regular toothbrush.  Look for one that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

3. Use an antiseptic mouthwash, such as Listerine, or a fluoride or antiplaque mouthwash.

4. Floss once a day. Any type of floss works, so choose a type you like. Curve the floss around each tooth into a U-shape, and gently slide it under the gum line. Move the floss firmly up and down several times to scrape off the plaque.

5. Use disclosing tablets periodically so you can see if you are brushing effectively. Disclosing tablets are chewable and will color any plaque left on the teeth after brushing. They are available at most drugstores.

6. See your dentist regularly as recommended to have your teeth cleaned and checked.

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, the bleeding should stop as your gums become healthier and tighter to your teeth. But bleeding gums may be a symptom of gum disease and should be brought to the attention of your dentist.

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Dr. Ray Gilbert Orthodontics | 8400 Osuna NE, Albuquerque NM  87111 | (505) 293-2332