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Whether you believe it or not, there are proper and improper ways to clean your smile. This is why it’s important to know the specific steps needed to take care of your teeth and gums each day. To help you know these steps, our James C. Ma dental team is happy to provide you with the following instructions:


Step 1: Make sure you have the best tools possible, like a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. The brush will thoroughly clean your smile and care for your gums while the fluoride will penetrate your tooth enamel and strengthen your teeth.

Step 2: Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline and use just enough pressure to feel the bristles against your gums and between your teeth. Make sure you don’t squish the bristles.

Step 3: Brush the inner, outer, and top surfaces of each tooth with a gentle circular and scrubbing motion. Make sure to brush along the gumline and scrub your smile for at least two minutes twice a day.

Step 4: Once you are done brushing, scrub your tongue for a clean, fresh breath.


Step 1: Start with about 18 inches of floss—it doesn’t matter which product you use. Wind most of the floss around one of your middle fingers and then wind the rest around the same finger on the other hand. Make sure to keep about an inch of floss between your two index fingers with little slack.

Step 2: Use that inch of floss to clean between your teeth. Glide the floss into the crevice between two of your teeth. As you do so, use a gentle sawing motion and scrape the floss along the side of each tooth.

Step 3: When you get to the gumline, curve the floss into a “C” shape. Then, gently send the floss between the gumline and the bottom of the tooth. This will help reduce your chances of falling victim to gum disease.

Step 4: Once you are done cleaning along the gumline, remove the floss from the crevice between the teeth and move onto the next space. However, as you move from tooth to tooth, make sure you use a clean section of floss. It’s important to floss at least once a day.

If you follow these instructions, you’ll be able to take good care of your smile regularly. To learn more about oral hygiene in Tulare, California, and how to properly brush and floss, please call our office at 559-688-4111 and talk to Dr. James C. Ma or a member of our dental team. We are happy to assist you in any way we can!