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Our lives are busy, and in the rush, it’s easy to let little things slide. The most important thing is to get back on track as soon as possible. Here are some things to think about as you do that.


2×2:  Brushing your teeth is the most fundamental of all oral hygiene habits. The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day, for maximum beneficial effect. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and only gentle pressure. Using stiff bristles and rough strokes can damage your gums and your tooth enamel.


Floss: It is recommended that you floss once a day, for 2-3 minutes. Use about 18 inches of single-filament floss, to allow you to use a clean section of thread for each tooth. This avoids cross-contamination.


Mouthwash: Using a therapeutic mouthwash may be a beneficial addition to the oral hygiene routine of some people. Be wary of cosmetic mouthwashes, as they do nothing to help kill bacteria and merely freshen breath temporarily. Do not give mouthwash to children under 6 years old.


Chew Gum: After you eat–especially acidic foods–your mouth is more sensitive to abrasion. For this reason, it is good to wait a little while after eating before brushing your teeth. However, it is beneficial to get the food debris, sugars, and other particles away from teeth as soon as possible. Try chewing sugar-free gum after eating, for 20 minutes. This will stimulate saliva flow and clean your mouth.


For information on taking care of your smile, call Brenner Dental of Park Slope in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. Our phone number is 718-638-6607. Dr. Leonard Brenner and our staff are happy to help you keep your smile bright!