Often we brush teeth as a routine without a thought to the correct ways of doing it. However, brushing correctly is as important as the act itself – proper technique is essential to good oral hygiene. So let’s take a look at various tips for brushing teeth correctly.
Brush Your Whole Mouth – Some people start their brushing in one area of the mouth and mostly keep brushing that area. It is important to start brushing at a different area of the mouth each time. Don’t get bored with brushing, remember it is the most important thing you do for your teeth.
Bush Twice A Day For Two Minutes Each Time – Brushing twice a day is essential and doing so thrice is even better. Brush at least for two minutes per session, three if possible.
Change Your Toothbrush Every Three To Four Months – This is the recommendation of the American Dental Association. See when the bristles get bent, lose flexibility or break apart – this is a good time to change the tooth brush. The state of the bristles is more important to decide when to change the tooth brush than a fixed period of time.
The Right Bristles – Are straight bristles better or angled ones? Brushing technique is more important than the bristles. But it is a better idea to not buy stiff bristles. The bristles should be easy on the gums yet strong enough to remove plaque. Boar bristles, animal hair bristles and other natural bristles are not recommended.
Use the right toothbrush – Using the correct toothbrush is essential and the toothbrush that is correct for you is correlated to the size of your mouth. If the brush is too big you will know – it will be difficult to get it in and to maneuver it around. A good yardstick for handle comfort is the eating fork. The handle should be as comfortable to the hand as an eating fork. Whether you choose an electric toothbrush or a manual is based on your preference. If you brush well a manual is as good as an electric.
Do Not Brush Too Hard Or Too Often – While brushing twice or thrice a day is great, doing so more than four times a day is unhealthy. Brushing vigorously can expose roots of teeth to damage. This irritates the gums. Brushing for 2-3 minutes gently is ideal.
Brush Correctly – Brushing for long enough is important but brushing correctly is essential. If you brush horizontally you risk damaging your gums. Brush up and down your teeth vertically and in circular motions to clean your teeth best. Brush your tongue, chewing surface and outer and inner surfaces.
Don’t Miss Inner Tooth Surfaces – Sometimes we do not brush the inner teeth surfaces because our tongue presses down on them. The lower front teeths’ inner surface is often missed out. It is essential to remove unseen plaque.
Rinse Your Toothbrush After Brushing – When you finish brushing, often the bacteria sit on the toothbrush and remain there till you clean it out. This is why it is essential to rinse the toothbrush after brushing
Let Your Toothbrush Dry – If you do not let your toothbrush dry, it may result in bacteria breeding on it. The best thing to do is shake out the moisture and cap it with a cap that allows air flow in.