One of the most important parts of your dental care routine is brushing your teeth twice a day. Dentists agree that brushing techniques can make a significant difference in the amount of plaque removed. With a little help from affordable dentists and these useful brushing tips, virtually all people with natural teeth can get more from their oral hygiene routines and enjoy better dental health. Get your toothbrush and toothpaste ready, and compare your routine to what dentists recommend.
Brushing Tips from the Pros
- Brush the teeth in each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds. Your total brushing time should add up to two minutes.
- When brushing both the inner and outer surfaces of your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and use half-tooth-wide strokes to brush at the gum line.
- Hold your brush flat and use back-and-forth strokes to brush chewing surfaces.
- When you brush the interior surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush, and use the toe of the brush to make gentle strokes in an up-and-down motion.
- To remove food residue and freshen your breath, brush your tongue from back to front in a sweeping motion.
- Use fluoride toothpaste that bears the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
- Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- The toothbrush should comfortably fit the size and shape of your mouth and easily reach all surfaces of your teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush when it is three to four months old or shows signs of wear. To help you remember when to replace it, write the date you started using a new toothbrush on its handle with a permanent marker.
How to select a toothbrush
Since the average American spends nearly 1,000 hours brushing teeth over a lifetime, it’s important to find a toothbrush that feels comfortable and works well. This can be a daunting task, considering the variety of toothbrushes on the market.
which toothbrush will work best for you?
In reality, almost any toothbrush you feel comfortable using works well. What is most important is to brush your teeth correctly – and brush them long enough. Most people brush for less than a minute, but to effectively reach all areas of your mouth and scrub off cavity-causing bacteria, you should brush for at least two to three minutes, at least twice daily.
How do you find the toothbrush that’s most comfortable for you?
Here are some guidelines from the American Dental Association:
- Any toothbrush you choose should have soft bristles. Hard bristles may cause gum tissue to pull back from teeth, which can expose the tooth root and lead to increased sensitivity to heat, cold or certain foods and drinks.
- Select a toothbrush head size that can easily fit into the mouth and can brush one to two teeth at a time (the general size is 1″ long and ½” wide).
- Powered toothbrushes don’t clean teeth any better than regular toothbrushes. However, if a powered toothbrush motivates you to clean your teeth more often and for the required length of time, it is worth the investment.
- Powered toothbrushes are better choices than manual toothbrushes for anyone who needs assistance brushing teeth, including people with arthritis (or any condition that may limit mobility), anyone wearing braces or people with misaligned or uneven teeth surfaces that make a thorough cleaning more challenging.
- Replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head for a powered toothbrush) as soon as the bristles begin to look worn or frayed (usually every three months). A worn toothbrush does not do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Remember always to replace your toothbrush after an illness.
- If you’re still undecided about which toothbrush to use, consult your dentist for advice.
If you are shopping for a child, select a toothbrush with the following characteristics:
- Soft bristles (for gentle cleaning)
- Very small heads (designed for baby teeth)
- Large handles (easier for children to grip)
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.