What is the right way to brush my teeth?
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45° angle to the gums.
- Using a sweeping motion, brush downwards, away from the gumline. Do this for the fronts and backs of teeth.
- Follow with a gentle circular motion. Do this for the fronts and backs of teeth.
- Brush the chewing surfaces (tops) of teeth with a back and forth motion.
- Brush the surface of your tongue. Spit out the toothpaste.
- Rinse your mouth and your toothbrush before letting it air dry.
Remembering the 2x2 rule - brushing for two minutes, twice a day - you can more easily break this down into areas within your mouth. Spending 30 seconds each on the front top, front bottom, back top, and back bottom can help to keep you on track. Just don't forget to include the chewing surfaces and tongue at the end.
We wanted to discuss proper brushing technique in this article, but need to remind you that flossing once a day is an essential part of keeping your mouth healthy and clean.
Electric or Manual Toothbrush?
Either style can help you keep your teeth clean and healthy. Some people find that an electric toothbrush helps them by using the proper motion, and children may find it easier. Your dentist can recommend which style might be best for you.
When should I change my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush can actually cause damage to your sensitive gums if you aren't changing it regularly. Typically, every 3 to 4 months you should replace your toothbrush, or when there are obvious signs of wear, such as frayed bristles.
Choose a toothbrush that is gentle on your teeth and gums. Your dentist will often provide a new one at each visit, try to replace your brushes with a similar style. We usually recommend avoiding firm or hard-bristled toothbrushes in favour of gentler options as they are equally able to clean your teeth without causing harm to your gums or enamel.
Why is it important?
Most of us have been told that brushing is important, probably by our parents and dentists. But understanding why might help to ensure you stick with a good oral hygiene routine.
Brushing removes plaque - a sticky, destructive bacteria - from the surfaces of our teeth. If plaque is left on your teeth, it will eventually lead to cavities (requiring fillings), gum disease, and ultimately losing your teeth. Brushing also stimulates the gums, which helps to keep them healthy, holding your teeth intact.
And, a very important reason that many people are not aware of, is that your dental health is tied very closely to your overall health. They share the same bloodstream, and therefore oral disease can lead to serious health concerns. Heart diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and even heart attacks can occur if left untreated.
Proper brushing can help to prevent unnecessary health issues, so remember the 2x2 rule and take care of your health!