Dentists agree and are clear on just about one exact thing – brushing your teeth every day is necessary for the health of your teeth and gums. There’s just one problem though: are you brushing correctly? Here’s a basic checklist of materials and methodology to help you ensure that you’re doing your best when it comes to taking care of your teeth and prevent any dental emergencies.
Are You Using the Right Toothbrush?
Despite how many choices your local pharmacy might give you in terms of a toothbrush, not all toothbrushes are created equal. If you’re picking a manual toothbrush, always make sure that it has soft bristles – this will help prevent overbrushing or aggravating your gums. Even better would be an electric toothbrush. While they cost more, overall they’re easy to use, encourage better dental hygiene, and are better at removing stubborn plaque. How old is your toothbrush? Ideally, you should be replacing it every three to four months.
Are You Using the Right Toothpaste?
The best toothpaste for you or your family members will depend on what your particular needs are. Ensuring that you pick a toothpaste with fluoride is always encouraged. If you have problems with your enamel or acids eating away at your teeth, a brand with baking soda will help immensely. Be careful using a toothpaste that whitens as the whiteners can damage teeth over time.
Are You Spending Enough Time Brushing?
Unless you’re timing how long you’re brushing your teeth, you’re likely not brushing for long enough. Most people spend less than a minute brushing their teeth when they should be brushing for at least two minutes. It can be helpful for kids learning to brush properly (and adults too, if they need help reaching those 2 minutes) to find a brushing video on YouTube – they make brushing your teeth every night and morning a little more fun and they help you know when you’ve brushed your teeth for long enough.
Are You Brushing with the Right Technique?
Once you’ve got all of your tools, you need to make sure that how you’re actually brushing is the right way of doing it. A simple back-and-forth, sawing motion actually spreads bacteria and plaque around your mouth and causes receding gums. In order to properly brush your teeth, you need to hold the toothbrush in your mouth at a 45 degree angle to your teeth and brush in a circular motion. This allows the brush to gently massage your gums, pull plaque and particulates away from the teeth and gums, and polish your teeth. Every surface of your teeth should be cleaned, so you need to clean three sides with the brush: the side that touches your lips, the inside that touches your tongue, and the chewing surfaces, too. Now you’re a superstar at brushing your teeth!
Contact Your Cary and Holly Springs Dentists Sninski & Schmitt
Contact your Cary family dentists at Sninski & Schmitt with any questions or concerns you may still have about brushing your teeth the right way. If you would like to learn more you can call us at 919-600-6262 (Holly Springs), 919-467-2203 (Cary), or fill out the form below.