We know, we know. You know how to brush your teeth. Maybe you’ve been doing it for 60 years! Maybe you’ve never even had a cavity.
Nevertheless, there could still be holes in your tooth-brushing method that could cause damage down the road. Before that happens, read up on our guide for proper brushing and nip any erroneous techniques in the bud before they cause lasting damage.
Selecting Your Equipment
Make sure your brush has soft bristles and fits the shape of your mouth. If you have a smaller mouth, choose a brush with a smaller head. Make sure you switch your toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles begin to fray.
As far as paste goes, choose one with fluoride that bears the ADA seal.
Timing is Key
Make sure you wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth.
When we eat, the pH balance in our mouth becomes more acidic. Waiting 30 minutes, and drinking plenty of water in the meantime, buys you time to rinse the acidic saliva out of your mouth.
If you brush too soon after eating, the acid in your mouth, combined with the brushing motion on your teeth, can be harsh on your enamel.
When you do begin to brush, the process should take about two minutes. This gives the fluoride ample time to soak into your teeth.
Step 1: Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Beginning with the outer and inner surfaces, use short strokes to brush along your gum line, taking care to reach all the way to the back of your mouth.
Step 2: Now, hold the brush parallel to the ground to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Step 3: Tilt the brush vertically to get the backs of your teeth in up-and-down strokes with the brush’s tip.
Step 4: In a back-to-front, sweeping movement, brush your tongue, removing all food particles and odor-causing bacteria.
Step 5: Make sure you do not rinse with water. This will rinse away the tooth-strengthening fluoride that is sitting on your teeth’s surface. Instead, try rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash after you’ve brushed for two minutes.
Mix it Up
Divide your teeth into four quadrants—the bottom right, the bottom left, the top right, and the top left.
Make sure that you don’t always brush the quadrants in the same order. As we go about our routine, we tend to get lazier with our brushing as we go on. Varying the section of your mouth you brush last helps to combat this.
That’s Not All!
Brushing with proper technique is important, but it’s not the only thing you need to do to keep your pearly whites at their healthiest and brightest!
Flossing every day and visiting a dentist twice a year is also crucial for keeping those chompers happy.