5 Brushing Tips to Impress Your Dentist
You may not really think about whether or not you’re brushing correctly until you’re seated in that chair and the dentist has nothing but criticism for your methods. You’re not alone. Millions of Americans are simply brushing incorrectly, following detrimental routines and failing to set proper standards for their dental care.
But you don’t need to be part of this membership of poor brushers. You can take steps to improve your techniques for superior dental hygiene. These five tips will go a long way toward helping you maintain responsible habits and avoid gum disease and gingivitis.
Your dentist will be impressed and your smile will look and feel so much better. The time you devote to making sure you’re doing the job properly will be time well spent.
1. Take Your Time
When it’s time brush, remember it’s not a race against time. In fact, the longer you take the more effective it will be for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
So how long should you take to brush your teeth? Two minutes is the recommended amount of time in order to do a proper and thorough job. Think about the last time you brushed your teeth. Did you do it for two whole minutes?
Chances are the answer is no. But it’s important that you dedicate that much effort to brushing if you want to ensure that all bacteria and particles are removed from your teeth and gum line. It’s not hard to do, count to 120 as you brush, set a timer, watch TV until the next scene of your show changes.
When you slow down the process, you end up getting more out of it.
2. Adjust Your Technique
Simply running your brush across your teeth for two minutes isn’t going to cut it either. You’re going to want to be sure that you’re doing everything correctly. That way you know you’re getting the most out of your time and toothbrush.
Consider your current techniques, brush in short strokes and pay close attention to every tooth. It can be tough to reach those teeth all the way in the back but they are important too. If you neglect them, you’re just asking for dental issues later.
The gum line is also a crucial region for proper brushing. That’s where all the plaque, tartar, and bacteria collect and if that’s left unchecked you can begin to develop gum disease and gingivitis. If you want, keep these simple steps in mind as you brush during those two critical minutes:
Start with the outer areas of your top teeth and move to the lower row from there. Do the same with the insides of your teeth, top row first, then the bottom? Move to the regions where the larger teeth chew your food. There are crevices and nooks that need to be brushed, otherwise they can attract buildup.
Finally, give the tongue some attention as well. It will make your breath smell clean and fresh.
3. Be Gentle
Brushing doesn’t need to be rough or intense. In fact, the harder you scrub your teeth with any gauge of bristle the more likely you are to erode the enamel. That’s not only damaging to the condition of your teeth, but it could lead to bigger problems down the line.
That’s why you must always remember to brush your teeth with a gentle touch and always in a circular rhythm. Rubbing the head of your brush back and forth isn’t doing your teeth any favors as it’s not cleaning them properly and it could be ruining the protective coating.
If you’re still not sure, find a dentist who is willing to give you some brief brushing lessons when it’s time for your next visit.
4. Toothbrush Replacement
It’s important to know when to replace your toothbrush. Failing to stay current on swapping out this cleaning utensil could result in the spread of germs and bacteria throughout your mouth.
Dentists in Richmond, VA suggest that you toss out the old brush after about three to four months of use or right after you’ve been sick or ill. A good indicator of when the time has come to replace your brush is if you can see that the bristles have become worn out and flat.
5. Good Rinsing
Rinsing your mouth out after you brush is a great way to ensure that all of the loose food particles and other germs are removed from your mouth once your two minutes are up. Sloshing some warm water in your mouth for a good ten seconds and then spitting it all out will finish the job properly.
When you’re done there, be sure to rinse your brush just as thoroughly. You want to be sure that all of the harmful particles you spit out aren’t stuck in your brush to be reintroduced into your mouth the next time you brush. That would be defeating the whole purpose of everything we’ve just discussed here.