Brushing: Quick Reference

An image showing a mouth with toothbrush and techniques for holding it and brushing teeth.
Brushing Tips: Click the image to enlarge

What’s the best way to fight tooth decay and gum disease?
Pick up that toothbrush twice a day!

Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day and use a toothpaste with fluoride (FLOOR-eyed), a natural mineral that helps make teeth stronger.

Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush in a size and shape that fits your mouth comfortably. Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles are worn or frayed. Both manual and powered toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque.

Your dentist or oral hygienist can show you how to brush.

Download the Prevention Brushing Brochure

Flossing: Quick Reference

An image showing a mouth with toothbrush and techniques for flossing teeth.
Flossing Tips: Click the image to enlarge

Clean between your teeth once a day to help remove food and plaque from under the gum line. Flossing is one way to do this. It takes time to get the hang of flossing. Be patient with yourself and don’t give up!

Your dentist or dental hygienist can show you the right way to floss.

Download the Prevention Flossing Brochure

Sealants: Quick Reference

The cover of the Sealants brochure showing sealants in the grooves of a tooth.
Prevention Sealants: Click to enlarge

Tooth decay often occurs on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The good news is that sealants can help protect these surfaces from tooth decay and improve your chances to stay filling-free.

What causes tooth decay? Your teeth are coated with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque (pronounced PLACK). The bacteria convert the sugars you eat and drink into acids that attack the strong, outer layer of your tooth, called enamel. Over time, this can weaken the enamel and cause cavities.

What is a sealant? A sealant is a material applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth, which have deep pits and grooves. The material flows into these pits and grooves and then hardens. Once your teeth are sealed, food and plaque cannot get in. The sealant forms a barrier against acid attacks.

How are sealants applied? Your teeth are cleaned and the chewing surfaces are prepared to help the sealant stick to your teeth. The sealant is painted onto the chewing surface where it bonds to your tooth and hardens. A special light is used to help the sealant harden. It usually takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth.

Download the Prevention Sealants Brochure