The time you spend cleaning your teeth is minimal compared to all your other daily tasks, but it is no less important. Remember these daily do’s and don’ts, and your smile will remain healthy and radiant for years to come.
Don’t: Rush When You Brush
The average person brushes their teeth for only one minute, which is about half the time it should take to thoroughly clean your teeth. Some brush their teeth for this short amount of time multiple times per day, but cleaning your teeth for a longer period of time per session is likely to remove more bacteria than several sessions of hurried brushing.
Do: Brush to the Beat
If you have trouble brushing your teeth for the entire 120 seconds, I advise turning on the radio and brushing for the length of one song. This will give you plenty of time to clean all the hard-to-reach places in your mouth – that is, if you brush your teeth correctly.
Don’t: Brush Back-and-Forth
A back-and-forth motion can cause the gum surface to recede, and you risk wearing down the gum line. You could also expose the root surface or make the root surface tender.
Do: Use Circular Motions
A circular or elliptical motion will help gently remove plaque. Tilt the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and brush the outside and inside of the teeth, the chewing surfaces, and your tongue. Brushing your tongue can minimize bacteria and give you longer-lasting fresh breath.
Don’t: Brush too Hard
How do you get something really clean? You scrub it as hard as you can, right? This may be true for your kitchen sink, but not for your teeth. Brushing your teeth too aggressively or with too much pressure can actually do more harm than good.
Do: Brush Lightly
Use light force when brushing your teeth. If you are using an electric toothbrush, use slow movements as the brush will do most of the scrubbing for you.
Don’t: Skip Brushing
Plaque builds up on your teeth each day, and when it is not removed by brushing it combines with your saliva and becomes hardened tartar. The less often you brush your teeth, the higher the risk for infection and the development of gum disease.
Do: Brush Often
Aim to brush your teeth twice a day or after each meal. A survey by Oral-B Laboratories and the Academy of General Dentistry shows that you are 65 percent more likely to brush your teeth at work if you keep a toothbrush available. Brushing immediately after meals can prevent sugars from turning into damaging acids. If you brush each morning at night, just rinsing your mouth with water after lunch or brushing without toothpaste can help prevent bacteria from settling in.
Knowing how to properly brush your teeth will prevent future oral health problems and give you the radiant, healthy smile you deserve. Be sure to keep up with your regular checkup appointments and cleanings to maintain optimal oral health.