Brushing your teeth the right way is key to good oral hygiene and keeping cavities and gum disease away. Here are some easy tips to follow when it comes to brushing your teeth the right way:
- The American Dental Association advises to brush at least twice a day.
- In order to properly brush your teeth, don’t rush! You need to brush for a full two minutes. Generally, most people do not come close to brushing their teeth for this long. To get a sense of how long this feels, brush you teeth with a stopwatch, some electric toothbrushes such as OralB come with a timer attached to your brush and automatically turns it off when the time is up.
- Clean each section of your teeth. Pay particular attention to the hard-to-reach back teeth, crowns and fillings and your gumline, which are the most likely places for gingivitis.
- Sections to clean include: the outer and inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then the outer and inner surfaces of your lower teeth. Make sure to also brush your tongue. While brushing, hold your toothbrush at a slight angle (45-degree angle), and gently brush with concise back-and-forth motions on your teeth (although avoid doing so on your gumline, as side-to-side brushing can lead to gum recession and root exposure). Another motion is to brush teeth surfaces, inside and outside, in a gentle, circular motion.
- A majority of dentists will tell you the best type of toothbrush for your teeth is a soft-bristled brush, which are gentle on your gumline but also help to remove the plaque and food debris stuck in your teeth. A powered toothbrush might also be another alternative, as it also does a good and thorough job in cleaning the teeth.
- Choose the right toothpaste, which should always include fluoride and be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Also, special toothpastes are made to address specific conditions, including toothpaste that specifically fights tartar, stained teeth and gingivitis.
- On average, if you brush everyday, two to three times a day, you should replace your toothbrush once every three months or when your toothbrush begins to show wear. If you’re also sick, keep in mind that your tooth bristles keep germs. You may want to replace your toothbrush after being sick, as using the same toothbrush can lead to you being reinfected again.
- Keep your toothbrush clean. Always rinse your toothbrush with hot water after brushing, and place it in an upright position. Allow it to air-dry and avoid regularly covering the toothbrush or storing it in a closed container.
At our private Corona Del Mar dental office, we prefer to prevent and educate, we hope you’re on your way to great preventive care with these brushing techniques.