It might seem too obvious to even mention that dental health relies on your oral hygiene routine. You’ve probably been brushing since before you can remember, which is why it might surprise you to find that you’re doing it wrong. Everyone should make it a point to update their brushing technique regularly, to make sure that mistakes and inattention don’t blossom into tooth decay. At Dental Partners of Boston, we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your brushing. Read on for tips to make your oral hygiene more effective.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
Proper tooth brushing starts with choosing the right toothbrush. The American Dental Association only recommends soft-bristled toothbrushes, as medium or hard-bristled toothbrushes can damage your gum tissue. Your toothbrush should also be small enough to fit in your mouth easily without making you feel like you are straining. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months, as they can harbor bacteria and develop worn bristles over time.
Choose the Right Toothpaste
Always use fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance. Fluoride helps to keep the teeth healthy because it makes the molecular structure of dental enamel stronger and more resistant to acid corrosion. Fluoride also makes it harder for the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid, which can help to keep your smile cavity-free.
Check Your Technique
To brush the front of your teeth, you should hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle pointed towards your gum line. Using small circular motions and light pressure, move the toothbrush back and forth to whisk away plaque and food buildup. Brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the chewing surfaces.
To brush behind the front bottom teeth, turn your toothbrush vertically with the bristles pointing towards the teeth. Use short strokes to brush behind teeth effectively. Last but not least, make sure to brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath. After brushing, make sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water, and to floss your teeth once a day.
How Much and How Often
You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night before you go to bed. Experts recommend thinking of your teeth as quadrants and then dedicating 30 seconds for each section.
Tips for Success
- If you have mobility problems, power toothbrushes can make brushing easier since the head moves on its own.
- Set a timer so that you make sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Some dental professionals even recommend watching television or listening to the radio during brushing to pass the time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for an in-person tutorial from one of our clinicians during your next visit. Your dentists in Boston would be more than happy to watch you brush and offer pointers to make sure you are getting the most out of your oral hygiene routine.
Contact our dentists in Boston, MA, for more information about at-home dental care.