Your teeth are important and it is vital to take care of them on a daily basis! But are you brushing your teeth correctly? Below is a check list of how you should be brushing your teeth:
Choosing the Right Brush:
When it comes to choosing the right tooth brush, it all comes down to the bristles! You want a toothbrush with soft bristles, rather than hard. Softer bristles gently remove plaque and tarter build up from your teeth and gums. Harder bristles will break down your enamel, which can actually cause other dental problems, such as tooth sensitivity. Choose a size that reaches all the areas in your mouth, including your molars. Change your toothbrush about every 4 months and to look for a tooth brush that was approved by the American Dental Association (ADA)! Many toothbrushes now come with a color changing strip which will fade when it’s time to get a new one.
You should brush your teeth for about two minutes and hold your brush at a 45-degree angle. You can help children brush the full two minutes by having them listen to a song and brush until the song is over. Additionally, people tend to brush their teeth harder than they need to. Contrary to popular belief, this does not help remove more plaque and tater, it only places damaging pressure on your teeth and gums.
Sure, brushing your teeth with a toothbrush is important, but let’s not forget to clean our tongue and gums! When brushing your teeth, make sure to reach your toothbrush down to your gumline. This will help keep them clean and remove any bacteria that could potentially spark gum disease. However, do not brush them too hard because it can cause gum bleeding. Remember to also clean your tongue! Your tongue can harbor bacteria which cause bad breath if not removed. Use your toothbrush (or a tongue scraper) to gently remove any bacterial build up from your tongue.
Lastly, do not forget about floss and mouthwash! A toothbrush will remove bacteria from your tooth’s surface, but floss will help clean in-between each tooth because cavities (called interproximal cavies) can develop. Mouthwash will then help keep your mouth feeling refreshed and remove further debris.
At Premier Dental Associates of Lower Manhattan, we love seeing healthy and shiny smiles! Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day and to floss daily! The key to great oral health starts with you!