Everyone knows that proper oral care is essential and that brushing your teeth is an integral part of that, but many people aren’t brushing correctly. By failing to follow a good brushing routine, you may actually be doing more harm to your teeth. In addition to learning how to brush teeth correctly, reading about common mistakes can help you avoid them.
Start with a Good Toothbrush
The brush and toothpaste you use are as important as the manner in which you brush teeth, so it’s vital to use quality products. In addition to selecting a toothpaste that contains fluoride, you should also look for the ADA (American Dental Association) seal. This ensures you’re using a quality product that will be efficient in fighting gum disease and tooth decay.
While you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months, it should be replaced sooner, if the bristles become worn and frayed. When choosing a toothbrush, a soft bristled brush is best. Additionally, choose a style of toothbrush that fits your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas. It may require some experimenting with different ADA-approved brands, but, once you find a toothbrush that you can maneuver easily, try to stick with it.
Brushing Your Teeth the Right Way
Once you have a good brush and quality toothpaste, you can begin practicing how to brush teeth properly. To begin, you should hold your toothbrush, so the bristles are at a 45-degree angle to the gum tissue. the proper method for brushing your teeth is to apply minimal pressure and use short strokes, brushing one tooth at a time.
You should think of this more as polishing or buffing your teeth than scrubbing them. Pressing too hard can wear away tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth that helps protect against decay-causing bacteria. A light cleaning of the tooth, paying special attention to the area at which the tooth meets the gum tissue, is the best approach. It’s also important to clean the insides of the teeth. To do this hold the brush vertically and brush with up and down strokes.
From there, you should also take the time to brush your tongue. While you can buy special brushes for this, your toothbrush can work as well. Start at the back of the tongue and sweep forward to the front. This helps clean bacteria from the crevices and pores in the tongue, where they tend to gather.
Don’t Rinse with Water
Most people rinse with water after brushing their teeth, believing this is what should be done. In fact, this is counterproductive, because the water dilutes and rinses the fluoride from your mouth. The reason you select a fluoride toothpaste is that it helps fight off the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay, but, if you’re rinsing with water, you’re washing away that protective substance.
Instead of using water after you brush teeth, select a good mouthwash. As with choosing a quality toothpaste, look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride and bears the ADA seal. Rinsing with mouthwash helps clear toothpaste from the mouth without getting rid of fluoride in the process.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are each part of good oral hygiene practices. Additionally, you should see a dentist at least twice per year. Visiting the comfortable offices at North View Dental every six months can ensure you catch tooth decay and other oral health issues early. To learn more about their services and to schedule an appointment, visit the North View Dental website.