Brushing your teeth may be the most important part of oral hygiene. Not only does brushing keep your teeth clean, it also leaves your breath fresh and washes away bad bacteria. Brushing your teeth also helps prevent gum disease and boosts your immune system. Of course, tooth brushing only accomplishes all of these things if you do it properly! So, am I brushing my teeth right?
Tooth Brushing Tools
Every proper tooth brushing routine requires the right tools for the job.
- A soft-bristled toothbrush. It doesn’t matter if you use a manual or electric toothbrush, but it’s best to choose one with soft bristles to protect your gums and tooth enamel.
- Toothpaste with fluoride. Be sure to select one bearing the ADA (American Dental Association) seal.
- Mouthwash (optional)
Once you have the proper tools at your disposal, it’s time to get down to business. Remember, you should brush at least twice per day and floss at least once per day.
Step-By-Step Tooth Brushing Guide
Have you ever thought about how you brush your teeth? When life gets busy, it’s easy to just scrub a little and move on to the next thing. Even if you think you’re doing it properly, it’s worth taking a moment to review your tooth brushing routine to make sure you’re doing it properly.
Step 1: Prep Your Toothbrush
Wet the bristles of your toothbrush with water and apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Step 2: Clean the Fronts of Your Teeth
With your toothbrush at a 45° angle, gently brush the fronts of your teeth. Try to use small, circular strokes to clean instead of scrub. Brushing too hard can damage your enamel.
Step 3: Work on the Outer Surfaces
Brush the outside surfaces, including the tops of your teeth and back molars. Pay extra attention to the bumpy surfaces of your teeth where you chew food.
Step 4: Address the Inside Surfaces
You don’t want to neglect the inner surfaces of your teeth. Though it can be a little tricky, just flip your toothbrush upside down to catch those inner surfaces and your gum line.
Step 5: Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Did you know that bacteria can build up on the surface of your tongue? Brush the top of your tongue to remove buildup and leave your breath a little fresher.
Step 6: Rinse
Spit the excess toothpaste into the sink and rinse your mouth with fresh, cold water.
So remember to ask yourself “am I brushing my teeth right?”.
Tips and Tricks for a Better Oral Care Routine
We’re not done! Now that you know how to brush your teeth properly, try these extra tips and tricks to make the most of your oral care routine:
- Brush for at least two minutes every time you brush. Some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers, but you can also sing a song, recite a poem in your head, or use another type of timer.
- Floss at least once per day to reach the spaces between teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or after you’ve been ill.
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and limited sweets.
One of the most important aspects of any oral care routine is seeing your dentist. Regular check-ups and professional teeth cleanings allow your dentist to catch any potential issues before they become big problems.
If you’re due for a check-up or cleaning, book an appointment at the Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics office nearest you.