04 Mar Proper tooth brushing techniques
If you have never been taught the proper way to brush your teeth, you might need a refresher! Incidentally, many people have never been taught the proper way to brush. Brushing incorrectly can damage your teeth and result in poor oral health and tooth erosion. Here is the 4-1-1 on proper tooth brushing techniques!
Your toothpaste needs to have one key ingredient: fluoride. All the other options on the market that contain additional ingredients such as whitening agents, tartar or plaque control and mouthwash are fine as well. If you have sensitive teeth, you might find the “whitening” toothpastes to be problematic. Instead, choose one of the many options created for tooth sensitivity.
The most common mistake we make when brushing our teeth is moving too quickly. The assumption that the harder we brush, the cleaner our teeth will be is false. In fact, brushing your teeth vigorously with a back and forth sweeping motion can wear away your enamel and cause your gums to recede. Instead, we suggest using a soft bristle toothbrush (or electric) and brushing with short circular motions. Visualize the bristles going in between your teeth and in all the crevices. Holding your toothbrush at a slight angle will help!
Use the same “pattern” when brushing your teeth. Mentally divide your mouth into 4 quadrants: upper inside/upper outside/ lower inside/lower outside and conquer each area one by one. Then take care to brush the chewing surface. Don’t forget to rinse…and floss. This entire process should take at least 2 minutes. Set a timer if you must, to be sure you are spending enough time on those pearly whites!
Other helpful hints:
• Brush at least 2 times a day! Floss once a day.
• Don’t brush your teeth immediately after breakfast. Instead, brush your teeth right when you wake up or wait until you get to work/school before brushing. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic, you will start to wear away the enamel on your teeth.
• Chew sugar free gum with xylitol between meals.
• Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months.
• Store your toothbrush off the counter, away from the toilet. Those germs can travel a great distance! If you must store them on the counter in a holder, be sure the toothbrush head is not touching another toothbrush head – more germs!
Share these tips with other family members and don’t forget to practice your new tooth brushing techniques tonight before bed!
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