Brushing Your Teeth: What You Need to Know

Brushing our teeth is something we do every day, but it’s important to know how to properly brush your teeth. Learning how to ensure your teeth are clean with each brushing session can improve your oral health and prevent gum disease or tooth decay. Here are some helpful tips for learning how to brush your teeth in a way that makes a difference in the condition of your teeth and gums.

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth?

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. It’s also a good idea to brush your teeth after eating foods that can easily get stuck in your teeth, such as popcorn. If you’ve enjoyed a meal that contains heavy sauces that could stain the teeth, you may want to brush after eating to maintain a bright smile.

Ideal Brushing Methods

Before you start brushing your teeth, make sure the toothbrush is at a 45-degree angle in relation to your gums. Move the toothbrush back and forth gently, using wide, short strokes. Brush the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth, as well as the bottom of your teeth, since these are the areas that come in contact with food most often. To ensure the inside surfaces of your teeth are clean, slightly tilt your toothbrush vertically and use up-and-down strokes.

Additional Oral Hygiene Tips

It’s important to keep in mind that knowing how to properly brush your teeth is just one part of maintaining teeth and gum health. Make sure you clean in between your teeth morning and night. This prevents food particles from settling in your mouth and causing tooth decay. Cleaning between your teeth using specialty floss or a water pick gets rid of plaque and other particles that you can’t reach with your toothbrush. This type of cleaning also ensures your gumline is free of debris and bacteria.

What you eat affects your dental health as well. Eat a well-balanced diet that is low in sugary foods and drinks. Excess sugar increases the chances of gum disease and causes tooth decay and cavities.

It’s important to keep up with your dental appointments for a thorough cleaning every six months to a year to prevent oral disease or treat it in its early stages. It’s also a good idea to speak with your dentist about the products you should use to keep your teeth and gums in great condition.

When you’re shopping for toothbrushes and toothpaste, look for products that carry the ADA seal. This indicates that the item has been approved by the American Dental Association and has been tested for effectiveness. In addition to toothpaste and toothbrushes, you can also find the seal on flosses, oral irrigators and mouthwashes.

Mistakes to Avoid When Brushing Your Teeth

To ensure you’re brushing safely and your teeth and gums are clean and intact, don’t brush too aggressively. While you may think scrubbing will get rid of debris and plaque, plaque is soft, so you don’t have to scrub hard to remove it. Choose a toothbrush with medium or soft bristles to prevent damage to your gums.

Even if you’re in a rush, make sure that you brush for at least two minutes for maximum effect. This ensures that more bacteria and buildup are removed from the teeth. Brushing for the recommended amount of time can also keep your breath fresh for a longer period of time throughout the day.

It’s also crucial that you change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. When you keep your toothbrush for too long, it stops being as effective. The bristles will soften, and you’ll increase the chances of mold and mildew growth on the toothbrush when it’s wet.

Remember to brush your teeth in small, circular motions instead of back and forth. This can damage the coating of the teeth. A massaging motion keeps your enamel intact and ensures that your gums are being properly cleaned as well. Don’t forget to pay attention to the area where your teeth and gums meet, wince this can be a breeding ground for bacteria. A soft-bristle toothbrush will make it easier for you to gently brush under the gum line to get rid of small food particles and debris that could compromise your oral health.

If you want to brush your teeth after a meal, wait for about 15 minutes. This gives your saliva time to neutralize the acid in your mouth from your food before brushing. If you brush too soon after eating, you could weaken your enamel.

As the best dentist in Durango, we’re here to help you achieve the best health when it comes to your teeth and gums. Getting regular dental checkups will also ensure your teeth are in good condition and that any health issues will be addressed promptly.