Everyone knows it is important to brush your teeth regularly. But did you know that there are specific steps and practices you must use in order for brushing to keep your mouth healthy? It can be easy to brush improperly, but we have expert tips that will help you keep your mouth in tip-top shape.
Brushing for two minutes, twice each day is important because the key to good dental hygiene is being thorough and consistent. Two minutes allows you enough time to brush your teeth well, and reach every area that needs to be cleaned. Brushing twice each day is recommended because bacteria accumulate in the mouth quickly, so you must brush to clean it out frequently. Additionally, brushing twice a day allows you to get excess food out of your mouth; that why is many people brush their teeth after meals , or at least when they wake up and when they go to sleep. If you have braces, brushing several times each day is even more important, because food can become easily embedded in and around the metal.
It may seem unusual or oddly specific, but you should brush with your toothbrush at a 45° angle to your gums. This will help the brush reach the gum line better and help it stay cleaner. The gum line is where most gingivitis-causing bacteria hide, so it is important to reach this area when you brush. This also helps minimize the wearing-down of teeth from direct brush contact.
Moving the toothbrush in circular motions is important because it helps loosen more plaque and food particles that traditional back-and-forth brushing would leave behind. Your brush should go from your gums down to your teeth, and should not miss anything in between.
Replacing your toothbrush is very important, but it is often overlooked. Over time, the bristles can become frayed and they will not do a proper cleaning job on your teeth. Toothbrushes work best when the bristles can reach from the gum to the tooth and are flexible enough to get into hard-to-reach spaces in your mouth. Furthermore, bacteria and food particles can build up on the toothbrush, and no one wants a dirty toothbrush, right?
When brushing, it can be easy to miss parts of the mouth. Missing parts of your mouth while brushing can become habit, which can be quite detrimental to your dental health. All teeth, especially back molars (which are frequently missed in brushing ), must be cleaned on all surfaces, because they all collect food and bacteria throughout the day. Missing one spot several times can lead to unseen plaque buildup, which can eventually end with gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Brushing the tongue is important because the tongue is another bacteria hotspot . It is also often the culprit of bad breath. These problems can be solved simply by brushing, and most toothbrushes come with a dedicated tongue cleaner on the reverse side of the bristles, making it even easier to remove bacteria and food particles from the tongue.
Just about any toothpaste will do for basic cleaning and bacteria removal, but there are certainly options out there if you want something specific out of your toothpaste. In our Smilecast , we mention that there are four main types of toothpaste: whitening, sensitive, tartar control and baking soda.
Whitening toothpaste can help with minor staining, but will truly not change the color of your teeth drastically.
Sensitive toothpaste can be a great option if you experience sensitivity, especially while brushing. It contains different ingredients, like potassium nitrate, that help block the pain receptors in your teeth.
Tartar control can be helpful, but unless you have extreme buildup, it usually hurts more than it helps with its tough chemicals.
Baking soda is a great option, because it can clean more deeply and whiten as well.
Lastly, it is also important to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in your toothpaste. If you experience gum inflammation after brushing, it may be due to allergens in your toothpaste. If you are unsure, ask your dentist what toothpaste is best for you.
If you want to know more about proper brushing techniques, we would love to show you how it’s done! Call for an appointment at 906-774-0100 today!