Hopefully, most of us learned in childhood about the importance of regular teeth brushing. As a matter of course, an effective brushing and flossing routine is vital in ensuring a lifetime of healthy teeth. As important as brushing our teeth is, however, there are a few important things you may not know about good tooth brushing. With that in mind, we thought we’d present a few perhaps-surprising facts about brushing your teeth along with a few tips for how to get the best results from your brushing and flossing routine.
- Your choice of toothbrush is important! Not all toothbrushes are created equal and making the right choice of toothbrush can have a real impact on the effectiveness of your brushing and flossing routine. While you should ask your dentist what kind of toothbrush is right for you, in general, most folks benefit from a brush with softer bristles and a wider head. You should also choose the right-sized toothbrush for the task at hand–adult-sized brushes aren’t suitable for small children, and vice versa!
- Likewise, you need the right toothpaste. There is a myriad of brands and formulations of toothpaste on the market and for good reason. Different people have different needs and different preferences, so make sure that you’re using the right toothpaste for you. There’s no general answer here, so just ask your dentist or other oral health care provider to recommend a good toothpaste to suit your needs.
- Brush regularly–and at the right times. By brushing regularly, we mean brushing thoroughly at least twice a day. In a perfect world, we would all brush and floss after each meal, but by doing so at least twice daily you can help keep your teeth clean and healthy. However, not all brushing times are created equal. At least one of your brushing/flossing sessions should be before bedtime, as the bacteria in your mouth may be more active while you’re asleep. Going to bed with a clean mouth can help prevent tooth decay–and fend off bad breath in the morning!
- Proper brushing technique is everything. If you’re not brushing properly–with the right tools and the right technique–you’re not getting the most out of your brushing and flossing sessions. Again, your dentist can help you understand your own needs, but as a general rule brushing should go something like this: holding your brush at a 45-degree angle, brush along the gumline in small circles to help remove debris and stimulate the gums. From there, clean the inner and outer surfaces of your teeth, and the tops of your molars. Finally, brush the surface of your tongue to remove any bacteria or debris there.
- Don’t forget dental exams and cleanings! While regular brushing and flossing are critical to oral health, seeing your dentist regularly is a must too. They can address your questions, detect problems before they get serious, and ensure that your teeth get a proper professional cleaning. These practices likewise go a long way toward ensuring that your teeth last a lifetime!
We hope these insights and tips help you rethink your brushing and flossing routine. It’s always good to refresh our understanding of how to care for our teeth and to double-check that we’re practicing the best possible care for them. If you have any questions or concerns about the best ways to care for your teeth, get in touch with us today and we’ll make an appointment!