If you were to ask a group of people if they knew the correct way to brush their teeth, chances are they’d say they did. In fact, some may even be offended that you would ask them such a silly question. However, the correct way to brush your teeth may not be as simple as everyone believes it to be.
Teeth Brushing Basics: What You Need to Know
Good oral hygiene is crucial to keeping a healthy smile and mouth. The secret is making sure you’re brushing correctly.
- Put in the time. Most people think they’re brushing for ample time, when in fact, the average amount of time spent brushing ones teeth is less than a minute. To correctly brush your teeth, you should spend at least two minutes of time doing so.
- Choose your toothbrush carefully. Toothbrushes are not one-size-fits-all. Make sure that it is large enough but still able to fit all of the spaces in your mouth. Also, make sure that the bristles are not too hard, as this may cause damage to your gums. Soft-bristled brushes are generally a better choice.
Manual and electric toothbrushes can both work equally well to brush your teeth. However, if you have a hard time remembering to brush for 2 minutes, you may want to consider an electric one. Not because they work better, but because many are equipped with built-in timers that automatically shut off after 2 minutes are up.
- Pick a double-duty toothpaste. Look for toothpaste with fluoride to help make teeth stronger and keep decay at bay.
- Use the correct technique. The correct way to brush your teeth is at a 45-degree angle using a circular motion. If you use a back-and-forth sawing motion, this can cause the gums to recede and can expose the root of the tooth, making teeth extremely sensitive. says Dr. Roesch. “Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle in a circular motion.” All three sides of the teeth (outside, inside, and chewing surfaces) should be given careful attention. The insides of the front teeth can be brushed in an up-and-down motion.
- Don’t forget your tongue. By brushing your tongue, you will eliminate a lot of odor-causing bacteria and keep your breath fresher!
- Flossing is essential. Nonetheless, this step often gets ignored. Food can get caught between teeth and be impossible for a toothbrush alone to remove. Once stuck, the food particles can lead to cavity-causing bacteria, so flossing at least once a day is necessary. When you first begin to floss, you may notice some bleeding an irritation. But trust that in time, it will get better. Your gums will get stronger and healthier the more often that you floss.
- Mouthwash offers benefits. Mouthwashes can help remove food particles before or after brushing, temporarily suppress bad breath, diminish bacteria in the mouth, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste.
- Change your toothbrush regularly. Typically, a toothbrush should be changed once every three to four months. You should also change your toothbrush any time you are sick, as bacteria can spread and duplicate on your toothbrush’s surface.
Besides protecting a bright smile, good oral hygiene can lead to better overall health. In addition to brushing correctly, be sure to eat a healthy diet and visit Valley Dental for regular checkups.