Tips and Tricks

Cartoon tooth vectorWhy Visit Dr. Steffens and her team regularly?

• She can spot serious health problems early so that they can be treated successfully
• She will examine your mouth including your teeth and gums to ensure that they are in good condition
• Her and her team will demonstrate how to brush and floss your teeth properly.

To ensure good dental health, visit Dr. Steffens regularly and brush and floss daily.

How to brush your teeth

Step 1

Brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. Direct the bristles to where your gums and teeth meet. Use a gentle, circular, massaging motion, up and down. Do not scrub your teeth hard. Gums that recede are often a result of years of brushing your teeth too hard.

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Step 2

Clean all surfaces of every tooth. The chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side of all teeth should be cleaned thoroughly.

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Step 3

Occasionally try to change your usual brushing pattern. Most people brush their teeth the same way everyday. This means they may miss the same spots regularly. Try reversing your regular pattern and start brushing on the bottom teeth and working up to the top teeth so those missed spots get some attention!

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Regular, gentle brushing is a very important step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing removes bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. You should try to brush after every meal, because the bacterial attack on teeth begins minutes after eating. At the very least, brush once a day and always before you go to bed.

There are several ways to brush your teeth. Please talk to Dr. Steffens and her team about the best technique for you.


• Brush at least twice a day. Three times a day is ideal!!
• Brush every exposed tooth surface
• Use a gentle, massaging motion
• Brush for two to three minutes or for as long as a song. Don’t rush your brush.
• Use a soft brush with rounded bristles. The correct toothbrush will clean your teeth better. Choose a size and shape that allow you to reach all the way to your back teeth.
• Avoid brushing your teeth too hard. Be gentle with your teeth.
• Please change your toothbrush every three months
• Never share your toothbrush with anyone or use someone else’s toothbrush
• Always rinse your mouth out with water after brushing


Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with toothbrushing alone. If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day.
Within approximately 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar. Please try to get into the habit of daily flossing. It may be easier when you floss while doing something like listening to music or watching TV. It is also a great idea to floss well before bedtime so you are not so tired when you floss.

How to floss your teeth

Step 1

Take a piece of floss approximately equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder. Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving approximately two inches between your hands.

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Step 2

Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the bottom of the tooth and gently under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from its base to the top two or three times.

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Step 3

Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Please don’t forget behind your last molars. Always remember to move to a new section of the floss as it wears and as it picks up particles.

Step 4

Always brush your teeth after you floss. It is a much more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

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Flossing Tips

Flossing cleans between your teeth and below the gum line in areas where your toothbrush will not reach. If you do not floss, up to 35% of your tooth surface is not cleaned. It is highly recommended that you floss at least once a day.

Flossing Problems and Solutions

Gums sometimes bleed when you first begin to floss. Bleeding usually stops after a few days. If bleeding does not stop, please contact Dr. Steffens and her team. Floss may shred if you snag it on an old filling or on the ragged edge of a tooth. Please try another type of floss or dental tape may work for you. Contact Dr. Steffens and her team if this doesn’t help.

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