How to Brush Your Teeth
If you’re serious about looking after your teeth and gums, then brushing and flossing is essential, as is using good quality fluoride toothpaste. You need to brush at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time, preferably first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It’s best to floss the last thing at night just before you go to bed.
While most people might be pretty good about brushing, many skip regular flossing unless they can feel something stuck in between their teeth. The contact areas in between your teeth account for 1/3 of your tooth surfaces, and there’s simply no way to clean in between your teeth with a regular toothbrush.
What are the Six Tips for Better Brushing?
Most of us brush our teeth automatically and don’t think about what we’re doing or what we are using. Paying a little bit of attention will help improve your routine.
- Buy a new Toothbrush: Look at your toothbrush. Is it there fraying around the brush edges? You need to replace your brush every two or three months or as soon as the bristles begin to look splayed.
- Softer Rounded Bristles are Best: When picking a toothbrush, choose one with softer bristles and rounded at the ends. This style of brush will remove the plaque effectively but won’t damage your gums and teeth.
- Regular Brushing is more important than the brush type: It’s up to you as to whether you prefer a manual or electric toothbrush, as the efficacy of brushing is all down to technique.
- Be Mindful while Brushing: When brushing your teeth, pay attention to what you’re doing, and make sure you clean every single tooth surface. When brushing your teeth, split your mouth into 4-quadrants.
- Clean one quadrant every 30 seconds before moving onto the next section.
- Don’t’ Rinse Immediately: Once you’ve finished brushing, then spit out excess toothpaste. Don’t rinse your mouth immediately afterward as you want the fluoride to continue working to protect your teeth.
Many people struggle with flossing. One problem is having too small of a piece of the floss, which makes it harder to manipulate and more difficult to use a clean section for each tooth.
Two Tips to Make Dental Flossing Successful
- No Short Lengths of Dental Floss: Your floss should be 18 inches or more in length. Be sure it’s the right width to fit comfortably in between each tooth will make the job much more comfortable and far more effective.
- Floss to Below the Gum Line: You need to take the dental floss right down to just below the gum line as this is an area where dental plaque tends to build up.
It’s up to you as to whether or not you choose to use mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Most are designed to provide cosmetic effects through temporarily improving your breath or masking odors such as garlic or onions. Some do have more therapeutic effects and contain fluoride or antimicrobial agents to help improve oral health.
The hygenist at Midtown Dentistry is here to help you. If you think your brushing and flossing techniques could use a little improvement, then please ask us for practical advice and information.
If you have young children, then ask us for help on the correct fluoride usage.