Preventive Care

Practicing preventive dental care at home and getting professional cleanings at our Lisle dental office are the most important things you can do to ensure a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. Brushing and flossing removes the bacteria which, when left on the teeth, can grow and harden into plaque and cause gum disease. Ideally, you should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day.

Did you know…?

Brushing is only half the battle. Most people don’t realize that brushing only removes 80% of the bacteria and food in your mouth. Flossing removes everything else that brushing misses in between the teeth and below the gums.

By practicing effective brushing and flossing at home, you can prevent:

  • Build-up of plaque
  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • The need for expensive restorations
  • Tooth loss

Below, you can find helpful instructions on the proper way to brush and floss your teeth. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment with Drs. Derrico and Van Beek or our hygiene team, please feel free to contact our Lisle, IL dental office.

Printable instructions >

 

Brushing Instructions
  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 1

    Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 2

    Brush gently in a circular motion.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 3

    Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 4

    Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

 

Flossing Instructions
  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 1

    Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 2

    Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 3

    Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 4

    Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.

 

  • Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your smile healthy.
  • Remember to schedule regular checkups with your dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
  • If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your smile.

If it's been six months since your last dental checkup, then it's time to contact our practice and schedule your next appointment!