shirley brushing and flossing

In between seeing our team for checkups and cleanings, you need to care for your smile at home. This goes for yourself and for your children as well. Simple actions like proper brushing and flossing can keep cavities and gingivitis at bay. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about caring for teeth and gums from home.

Brushing Teeth

Everyone should brush their teeth twice a day, when they first wake up and then again before going to bed. Each session should take about two minutes, ensuring you and your kids reach the fronts and tops of the teeth, as well as along the gum line, removing trapped food particles. Manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective, as long as they’re used properly. But the toothpaste you select is important. Instead of opting for whitening options, which contain abrasive agents that can weaken enamel, we urge you and your kids to use fluoride toothpaste. This helps strengthen the teeth by keeping the enamel strong. Kids three and younger need a rice sized amount, and children over the age of three need a pea sized amount.


As soon as there are teeth sitting side by side, we need to floss between them. This should be done every evening before you brush for the last time. For kids, a pick can be easier to use, while adults can employ floss tape. People need to floss up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line to remove trapped particles. This is vital for fighting cavities, bad breath, gingivitis, and gum disease, so people of all ages need to floss without exception each evening.

Controlling Plaque Buildup

These actions help limit the severity of plaque and tartar buildup until we can see you for treatment, removing the buildup completely with a dental cleaning. You can also help by cutting back on foods and drinks high in sugar, and meals with a lot of starch, as these ingredients can be broken down by bacteria to create the buildup. Controlling plaque means limiting the severity of teeth stains, fighting bad breath, and protecting your smile from decay, infections, gingivitis, and more.

If you have any questions about how to properly brush and floss from home, or about checkup and cleaning visits for your family, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help you and your loved ones enjoy optimal oral health!

Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist Offers Oral Hygiene Tips

With a few simple changes to your daily life, you can keep teeth and gums strong! To learn more about protecting smiles of all ages from home, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.