Most of us don’t even think about it. Best practices for brushing your teeth? Is that a thing? While most Americans are content with brushing the recommended two times per day for two minutes each time, at least 23% of Americans are brushing once every other day. It is not just the frequency of which you brush, but the technique. So, what are the best practices for brushing your teeth, and are you doing them?
The Tools and The Technique
You wake up in the morning, brush your teeth (although half asleep), gargle some mouthwash, and go about your day. You feel pretty good about your oral routine, but your dentist still seems to find a cavity. What are you doing wrong? We are glad you asked! Brushing your teeth is a great start, but it is not enough.
- The Tools. Yes, there is a right and a wrong toothbrush for the job. As with any job, you want the right tool. A toothbrush with medium-hard bristles will damage your enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavities and tooth decay. Instead, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush that will be gentle to the surface of your teeth. In addition, store your toothbrush upright in a container with good airflow to prevent bacteria growth. Buy a new toothbrush every 3-4 months and after any illness. They are cheap, and there is no reason you can’t. If you want to take an extra step, you can choose a toothbrush and toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- The Technique. We get it. It’s hard to focus first thing in the morning, but brushing the right way is more important than how often you are brushing. Start at a 45-degree angle and brush in small circles, covering the entire surface of each tooth from the front to the back. Repeat on the top and bottom. Do not press firmly; a gentle brush will remove bacteria, while a harsh brush will destroy your enamel. It is also essential to follow with bacteria-killing mouthwash and flossing at least once per day.
Be Flexible and Adjust As Needed
No matter how often you brush or how good your technique is, the health of your teeth can sometimes be at the disposal of your genetics. Scheduling a yearly exam, cleaning, and set of x-rays allows you the opportunity to discuss with your dentist if there is anything additional you can do to ensure a healthy mouth. Your dentist may also alter your dental schedule to fit your needs. Of course, if you have any questions, any of our dental providers would be happy to chat with you. Please schedule an appointment or give us a call at 303-755-8388.
We look forward to caring for your teeth!