Brushing your teeth is vitally important to your health. Naturally, having had the importance of brushing our teeth drilled into us for so long, we all assume we know the proper way to brush, but according to the Academy of General Dentistry, most adults do not brush their teeth in a manner that leads to optimal dental health. So in honor of National Brush Day, let’s go over proper technique for brushing.
Let’s start with the basics: brush twice a day for two minutes. It’s the latter part where most adults tend to stumble the most, because keeping a good sense of time in your head while concentrating on thoroughly brushing your teeth is difficult. Some dentists suggest using a stop watch while brushing, while others suggest the purchase of an electric toothbrush as those come with a built-in timer, but more on that in a moment. Regardless of how you time yourself, dentists around the world continue to implore you to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes.
Obviously, you need a toothbrush to properly brush your teeth but is a traditional or electric one better? Dentists generally don’t have a preference of one or the other, as long as the one you use has soft bristles with a smaller brush head that can easily reach the back molars. You should replace the brush every three to four months or if the bristles become frayed, as frayed bristles will do more damage to your teeth than good. The same can be said for your toothpaste; as long as your toothpaste has fluoride, feel free to experiment until you find the toothpaste that works best for you. One more small but essential tool that you need is floss. You need to take as much care of your gums as your teeth, and floss is the best tool for that process.
Now that you have the proper tools you need to brush your teeth properly. The recommended technique is to hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, and move the brush gently over all the surfaces of your teeth, i.e. fronts, backs, and tops. To help freshen your breath, also brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria that may have built-up since your last brushing. You should also take this opportunity to floss, whether before or after you brush your teeth is your preference; there’s no prescribed method.
Now that you’re armed with the tools and technique for brushing your teeth properly, there’s one more thing you need to do, and that’s to visit your dentist twice a year to ensure that your teeth are as healthy as possible. To make an appointment, or if you have any questions about how to properly care for your teeth, call your friends at C&C Dentistry.