Brushing Teeth

Proper brushing takes at least two minutes but not all people take that long at the sink. Have you tried brushing your teeth for more than two minutes at a time? It takes conscious effort to do every day -and you may require a stopwatch-but it makes a big difference to your oral health.

When brushing your teeth, short, gentle strokes are recommended; and special attention should be paid to the areas around crowns and fillings, the gum-line and other hard-to-reach places in the back of the mouth. Each section should be cleaned thoroughly before moving on to the next.

Consider using this method:

  • Clean outer surfaces of upper teeth, and then proceed to lower teeth
  • Clean inner surfaces of upper teeth and then proceed to lower teeth
  • Clean chewing surfaces· 
  • When you’re done cleaning teeth, brush your tongue

7 Additional tips for brushing teeth

1Your toothbrush

Are you straining to reach the teeth at the back of your mouth? If you are, it could be an indication that your brush is too big. The American Dental Association recommends a smaller brush with soft bristles (stiff bristles can in fact injure the gums) and electric toothbrushes are ideal for people with arthritis or anyone struggling to use a regular brush.

2Brush more often

It is recommended to brush twice a day but three times is best. Make sure to brush for two minutes or more, but don’t brush too long- that could hurt the gums. Use TV or other distractions to make the time go faster while your brush.

3Go easy on the enamel

When brushing, don’t bear down too hard. Instead, use a lighter touch and let the bristles do their work. If your brush too often and/or bear down the brush too hard it could cause serious damage to the gums and tooth enamel.

4Use safe products

The toothpaste you use determines to some extent your oral health. Some of the products used to lighten teeth can also be harmful and may sand away tooth structure over time. Use the recommended products just to be safe.

5Rinse the brush after use

Germs can stick to your toothbrush if you don’t rinse it after use. These same germs can cause infections and make your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria. Clean with plenty of water and let the brush air dry.

6Prevent potty mouth

The bathroom isn’t the best place to store a toothbrush but you can take steps to keep it clean. Keep the brush in a holder and don’t share the holder with strangers or let used brushes touch each other. When traveling, use a holder that lets air in- a moist brush almost always carries bacteria.

7Don’t brush soft enamel

The mechanical action of brushing softened teeth is what wears away the enamel. Common food and drinks contain acid that can soften tooth enamel; so if you consume things like orange juice, give it 30 minutes before your brush. Your saliva helps keep the enamel tough.


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