You brush your teeth, right? Mostly everyone does, but some people do not brush their teeth correctly. To ensure good oral health, you need to brush your teeth in the proper way and that starts by first choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste.
Good oral care maintenance is something that you can achieve and maintain with the help of your dentist. Twice-yearly dental appointments can help you maintain good oral health; keep up with your appointments and learn to brush your teeth in the right way.
1. Choose your toothbrush.
Should you use hard, medium or soft bristles? What about acrylic bristles versus bristles made from animal products such as horsehair? Choose a soft bristle toothbrush made from acrylic. This type of toothbrush will clean your teeth without damaging them or your gums.
Acrylic is easier to clean too whereas animal byproduct toothbrushes are harder to keep clean. Toothbrush length is not important — rather, it is how the user (you) use the toothbrush.
2. Select your toothpaste.
With so many toothpaste products on the market, which one should you choose. For starters, your toothpaste should contain fluoride, an ingredient that helps reduce tooth decay by making teeth resistant to plaque bacteria as well as sugars present in the mouth.
Other ingredients that may be included are whiteners, desensitizing agents and antigingivitis agents. Some toothpastes tout their natural ingredients and although we’re not in a position to survey each ingredient, your dentist can shed light on what to use.
3. Prepare your toothbrush.
With the toothbrush out of its wrapper and ready for your use, you’ll want to wet it first. This step ensures that any gunk inadvertently left behind the last time is washed off. Being new, there was no last time, but it is habit you’ll want to practice every time.
4. Apply your toothpaste.
Watch any commercial for toothpaste and users squeeze out and lay on a large amount of toothpaste. Really, they slather it on! A small pea-sized amount is that is required according to the Chicago Dental Society. More than that and you’re wasting toothpaste.
5. Start brushing.
Open your mouth and clench your teeth. The bristles of your toothbrush should be positioned at a 45-degree angle along your gumline. Using a back and forth rolling motion, cover two to three teeth, making contact with the gumline. Repeat this method for all of your teeth.
6. Get inside.
Open your mouth wide. Tilt your toothbrush at a vertical angle and begin working on the inside of your teeth. Make several up and down strokes and then resume the 45-degree position as you work your way around the mouth.
You may find it easier to alternate between the two or brushing one way at first followed by the other later. Just keep track on what you’ve done to ensure that you have not missed any part of your teeth — inside, outside and on top.
7. Cover the top.
The tops of your teeth should be covered next. Here, you’ll want to cover the biting surface by gently scrubbing your teeth in a back and forth motion. When done, brush your tongue from back to front, an effort that will remove bacteria. Persistent foul odor should not be ignored, however. Contact your dentist if your battle with bad breath continues.
8. Rinse and rinse.
Rinse off your toothbrush and put it in a holder where it can air dry. Rinse out your mouth with water. You can follow that up with mouth wash if you wish, choosing one that is certified by the American Dental Association.
9. Brushing Time
Your total brushing time will be at least two minutes with three minutes preferable. Brush your teeth at least twice daily — morning and evening or after every meal. Follow up with flossing once daily, preferably when you’re not rushed such as in the early evening.
By maintaining a constant oral care regimen, you can reduce your incidences of plaque build up, avoid cavities and preserve your teeth. Fail here and you most likely will invite costly dental problems.
- WebMD: Dental Health and Fluoride Treatment — http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/fluoride-treatment
- Dentistry: How Much Toothpaste Is Too Much? — http://www.dentistry.com/daily-dental-care/dental-hygiene/how-much-toothpaste-is-too-much
- American Dental Hygienists’ Association: Proper Brushing — http://www.adha.org/oralhealth/brushing.htm
To find a garland dentist or find a dentist office in your area, consider Monarch Dental with over 400 affiliated dental offices throughout 18 states.