Brushing your teeth is likely a task you do several times each day. However, it is quite easy to get into a routine full of bad habits, if you aren’t careful. Taking the time to develop the proper techniques for brushing – and sticking with them – is essential for the appearance and health of your smile.
The Do’s of Brushing Your Teeth
While brushing your teeth is not rocket science, there are a few “do’s” to adhere to. Doing so will ensure you achieve the desired results – great breath, healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.
- Use the proper technique: Tilt your toothbrush at an angle, 45-degrees is best, against the gum line. Brush the teeth with small, circular motions. This method is considered the most effective and gentlest way to get rid of built-up plaque and bacteria.
- Brush for the proper amount of time: Brushing your teeth properly will take, at the very least, two minutes. Be sure you brush for the proper amount of time and if necessary, use a stopwatch or listen to a song while you are brushing. When thinking about what amount of time to spend brushing your teeth, it is important to remember that it is not always about the perfectly prescribed time, it is about ensuring all the surfaces of the teeth are clean.
- Brush in the morning and at night: Brushing your teeth needs be a crucial part of your morning and nighttime routine. It is also crucial to avoid snacking after brushing your teeth for bed. Going to sleep right after eating will increase the chance of developing cavities and other issues.
- Replace your toothbrush: It is recommended by the ADA that you purchase a new toothbrush every several months. As the bristles wear down on your brush they will be less effective when it comes to removing bacteria and plaque.
The Don’ts of Brushing Your Teeth
While there are several “do’s” to adhere to, there are also a few “don’ts” to be aware of when it comes time to brush your teeth.
- Don’t brush too aggressively: Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and avoid using it aggressively. If you do this, it can begin to cause the gums to recede.
- Don’t brush right after you eat: Wait for at least 30 minutes to brush after eating. When eating, bacteria will create an acid that weakens the enamel temporarily. If you brush directly after eating, you may cause damage to the weakened enamel.
- Don’t forget about the other parts of the mouth: Especially the tongue. 90 percent of cases of bad breath are the result of a dirty tongue.
- Don’t forget to visit the dentist: Regardless of how often or how well you brush, it is important to visit the dentist to keep your smile healthy and radiant. Professional checkups and cleanings provide the best way to avoid serious dental issues down the road.
The little things you do while brushing your teeth can make a huge difference in the look and health of your smile, teeth and mouth. With these little tips, you should be well on your way to a beautiful, healthy looking smile that lasts, year after year.