Learn How to Properly Brush Your Teeth From a Local Dentist

Posted on: October 3, 2014

dentist brushing
Properly Brush Your Teeth
As a local dentist, we provide preventative dentistry services so that our patients can stay in excellent oral health. We recommend that you have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year so that we can remove harmful plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums.  These appointments also give us the opportunity to look for any cavities or other oral infections like gum disease. When infections are caught early, we can prevent them from spreading which will keep you more comfortable.  While at home, it is equally important to practice good oral hygiene.Many of our patients ask us if there is a right and wrong way to brush teeth.  We suggest that brushing at all is better than avoiding the toothbrush but there are certain things you can do to make brushing more effective. In order to get the best possible clean, follow these simple steps:
  • Buy a soft toothbrush.  It is a common misnomer that a hard toothbrush is best because it can scrape off plaque.  This isn’t true.  A hard toothbrush can actually damage your teeth by removing the outer enamel that is important for protecting them in the first place. As a dentist, we recommend brushing with a soft toothbrush instead.  You can get just as clean but without the harmful damage.
  • Pattern matters.  Instead of brushing from front to back, brush in a circular pattern.  You should always start at the gum line and work towards the center of the mouth.  This will move bacteria away from your gums instead of towards them.  Additionally, brushing in a straight line can irritate your gums.
  • Timing is important.  You should brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating.  Many people wait until they go to bed, but this simply leaves sugar and bacteria on your teeth all day long.  Carry a soft toothbrush with you and use it after lunch or a midday snack so that the food particles are not left there for hours.  If you don’t have time to brush your teeth, you should rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash instead.
  • The two-minute rule.  Many people think that if they brush for two minutes, they have done a good job.  This isn’t necessarily the case.  While this is a good mile-marker, you need to run your tongue along your teeth and gums when you are done to see if they are perfectly clean.  If not, brush some more.
  • Toothpaste.  You can buy toothpaste that will strengthen your teeth and help to prevent cavities.  Look for a brand with fluoride in it.  If you have sensitive teeth, you may want to brush with a desensitizing paste in addition to one with fluoride.
  • Remember your tongue.  Your tongue and your cheeks can hold onto bacteria as well.  Make sure to brush them while also brushing your teeth.
As a local dentist, our goal is to help our patients to stay in excellent oral health.  For more tips on how to stay healthy at home, call our office and schedule a dental exam.

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