You go to great lengths to take care of your oral health, from daily brushing to flossing to routine dental checkups. Sometimes though, even when we think we’re doing everything we can to take care of our mouths, our dentist tells us that there’s room for improvement. Maybe it’s an unexpected cavity or a bit of plaque buildup, but hearing your dentist say something doesn’t look perfect is never a great moment. Brushing our teeth is a skill we learn at a very young age, and very few people ever go back to brush up on their technique— so it’s understandable that there’s some more to it than you may realize. If you’re wondering whether you’re covering all of your brushing bases, check out these quick tips to relearn the fundamental basics of brushing!
It Starts With Your Brush
Choosing the right toothbrush is the best place to start in ensuring you’re cleaning your mouth the way you ought to be. You should always choose a soft or extra-soft bristled brush, as firmer bristles can damage your protective enamel and lead to cavities. The size and shape of your brush head is important too, depending on your mouth shape and oral health needs. Smaller brush heads can help you get harder to reach places, and sometimes it’s wise to choose a brush with some flexibility to allow you to hit every part of your teeth and gums.
Don’t Rush Things
You should be spending at least two minutes brushing every time you brush your teeth, which should be at least twice daily. If you’re running late in the morning or tired before bed, two minutes can seem like an eon and many people will fall short of this goal, but it’s essential to dedicate enough time to thoroughly brushing your teeth. Some electric toothbrushes have built in timers, but you can also invest in a small timer to keep next to your bathroom sink if you struggle to reach the two minute mark.
The proper brushing motion is small and circular, not just up and down. Your brush should be at a 45 degree angle to your teeth, and you should be hitting every side of every tooth. That means the outer-facing, inner-facing, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. It’s important to brush along the gum line as well, as this is an easy place for food and bacteria to hang out.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
When it comes to brushing, gentler is almost always better. It may seem counterintuitive to try to scrub plaque away with a gentle motion instead of a firm one, but hard, aggressive brushing actually damages your enamel and can lead to oral problems. Plaque is quite a soft substance, and light strokes will be enough to clear it away in most cases.
Brushing twice daily is the most important first step in keeping your mouth healthy and clean, and it’s just as important to make sure you’re doing it properly! If you think you may not be brushing the way you should, or if you’d just like to schedule a routine checkup or cleaning, give us a call at Countryside Dental Group today!