As your dentist in Edmond will tell you, toothbrushing is one of the most important habits you can develop to maintain marvelous oral health. Regular toothbrushing helps to remove plaque and food particles from the teeth and gums, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
However, not all toothbrushing methods are created equal. Let’s discuss the dos and don’ts of toothbrushing to ensure that you’re taking care of that beautiful smile.
Do Brush Twice a Day
Let’s start with the basics: brush your teeth twice a day, probably once in the morning and once before bed. As you know, brushing helps to remove plaque and food particles that accumulate on the teeth and gums throughout the day. Brushing with a toothbrush and dentist-approved toothpaste twice a day establishes a daily oral hygiene routine. By brushing in the morning and before bed, you’ll keep your mouth clean throughout the day. You’ll also keep your Edmond dentist happy. If you can squeeze in a third brushing session after lunch, that’s great too!
Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle from your teeth and gums. Gently clean each tooth with a short back-and-forth motion. And make sure you get the front, back, and chewing surface of each tooth.
Do Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Select a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can be too abrasive for the teeth and gums, causing damage to the enamel and increasing the risk of gum irritation and bleeding. No fun. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are gentle on the teeth and gums, making them a better choice for regular brushing.
Do Brush for Two Minutes
Brush for at least two minutes each time you brush. Two minutes seem like an eternity the first time you track it, but it’s essential to take the time to brush each tooth thoroughly. Try using a timer to keep track of your brushing time, or listen to a song that’s about two minutes long. Songs are especially helpful to keep kids brushing for the entire time.
Don’t Brush Too Hard
Even when you’re using a soft brush, be careful not to brush too hard. Brushing too hard can cause damage to the enamel and increase the risk of gum irritation and bleeding. To avoid brushing too hard, use a gentle circular motion, making sure to not to apply too much pressure. Your dentist in Edmond can tell you: if you notice your bristles bending and wearing out before three months, ease up on the intensity.
Don’t Brush Immediately After Eating or Drinking Acidic Foods
Wait 30 minutes after eating or drinking acidic foods before brushing your teeth. (Yes, that includes your morning coffee.) Acidic foods and drinks can soften the enamel, making them more susceptible to damage. Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking a can of pop will wear away at enamel. And you can’t get that back.
Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Bacteria can accumulate on the tongue, causing bad breath and potentially contributing to gum disease. Use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to take a few moments to clean your tongue. Simply brush or scrape your tongue gently, making sure to remove any plaque or food particles.
Don’t Share Toothbrushes
Sharing toothbrushes can increase the risk of spreading germs and bacteria. Especially not during cold and flu season. (Yikes!) Each person’s mouth is unique, and toothbrushes can collect bacteria and other particles that are specific to that person. Those aren’t things you want to share with loved ones, no matter how close you are.
Edmond Oklahoma Dental
Toothbrushing is an important habit that maintains oral health and prevents tooth decay and gum disease. You can effectively remove plaque and food particles by brushing twice a day and using the proper techniques. Sounds easy, right? It is, when you know what to do!
Questions? Just check in with your Edmond dentist’s office at Santa Fe Dental. We’ll be happy to answer your concerns.