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According to the ADA (American Dental Association), adults should brush their teeth after every meal, or at least three times daily, and they should floss once every day. The reality is that many people have schedules that are too busy to permit brushing three times a day, but all children over three years of age and all adults should brush at least twice a day and floss once, at the very least.
For detailed instructions on how to most effectively brush one's teeth, it is best to consult with a dentist or dental hygienist. Still, the following guidelines are a good start. It is generally recommended that adults use a soft, ADA-approved toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brush with moderate pressure, in a circular motion to remove the most plaque. Brushing too softly may allow plaque to remain on or between the teeth, while brushing too hard can damage gum tissues. It is recommended that people brush their teeth for a minimum of two minutes to ensure optimal cleanliness and plaque removal.
Flossing in between the teeth and at the gum line is essential to avoiding gum disease, which can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss. Most people do not realize that up to 75 percent of Americans suffer from gum disease, and that gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. Furthermore, recent studies have determined a correlation between gum disease and heart disease and stroke. For optimal health, it is essential that all adults floss their teeth at least once a day. For proper flossing techniques, consult with a general dentist or dental hygienist.