You know a regular brushing and flossing routine is important for the prevention of cavities and tooth decay. But did you know many people brush their teeth incorrectly? It is easy to fall into bad habits, but correct brushing technique and selecting the correct toothbrush are an important aspect of your oral health. Here are seven tips aimed at helping you brush your teeth correctly.
- Select the right toothbrush. You may think a hard bristle toothbrush is the best to really get your teeth clean. A hard bristle toothbrush can actually contribute to tooth decay and gum disease because it is too rough. Dr. Taylor recommends selecting a soft bristle brush. Soft bristle brushes clean your teeth but protect the enamel of your teeth and won’t damage your gums. The soft bristles are also able to bend and conform to the tooth shape and get under the gums.
- Select the right size of brush head. Selecting the correct size of toothbrush is also important. Get a brush head that fits your mouth. For example, if you have a small mouth you will need a smaller brush head. Toothbrushes also come in different angles and types of handles. Don’t hold onto your toothbrush too long. Get a new one every three or four months.
- Don’t scrub your teeth too vigorously. Some people think they must really get in there and scrub their teeth to clean them properly. Think of brushing as more of a massage. Plaque is soft and sticky and it doesn’t take much effort to remove. If you scrub too enthusiastically you can damage your gums.
- Don’t rush or skip brushing your teeth. You may be stressed for time, but take enough time to brush your teeth properly. You should brush for at least two minutes. Try setting an egg timer or sing Happy Birthday in your head to time yourself. Don’t skip brushing your teeth. You should brush them when you get up and before you go to bed. If you brush after meals, wait a few minutes to give your saliva a chance to break down food debris in your mouth.
- Use the proper technique when brushing your teeth. Hold the brush at an angle (a 45 degree angle from the gum line) and use a circular motion. Brush the inside of your teeth and brush your tongue. By brushing your tongue you remove a lot of bacteria in your mouth and freshen your breath.
Use these five tips to get the most out of brushing your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing are your first line of defense to protect your oral health. Your next line is regular dental checkups. Call or contact us today and set up a schedule of regular dental visits, and ask Dr. Taylor about choosing a toothbrush and the proper technique of brushing your teeth.