Are You Brushing Your Teeth Correctly?
Get practical and creative for effective home dental care
You may have decades of practice, but are you sure you are brushing your teeth correctly? It’s very common for people to forget the important details of tooth brushing, a key defense against gum disease. Here’s how to properly brush your teeth:
- Brush gently with a soft bristled toothbrush. Your gums are sensitive tissues that you can damage by careless brushing - gums should not be bleeding regularly. Brushing your teeth correctly starts with selecting a comfortable toothbrush, either electric or manual, and replacing it when the bristles get worn.
- Find two or three times a day to brush. Morning and evenings are obvious brushing times, but a mid-day cleaning would also help. More than three brushings may mean you are overdoing it, and this could lead to gum damage. Never go to sleep with your mouth full of bacteria. Put your toothbrush on your pillow or your pajamas as a reminder if necessary.
- Discover a way to brush for at least two minutes. If you rush brushing your teeth, you aren’t alone - even dental hygienists admit they hurry sometimes. To slow down you could try combining tooth brushing with something else. Do you like watching funny short videos on the web? Enjoy dancing to your favorite song? Want to build up your leg muscles by sitting like a chair against the wall? Or you could simply use a timer to reach two minutes each brushing.
- Move your toothbrush in various directions, avoiding a horizontal “saw” motion. Use circular or up-and-down motions on both the insides and outsides of all your teeth. Start in a different place in your mouth each time to make sure you hit every surface regularly. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well.
Note that older family members who have lost muscle dexterity or have arthritis may have trouble brushing their teeth correctly with a manual toothbrush. An electronic toothbrush makes brushing much easier. In addition, it can help both children and adults reach that important two-minute mark.
- Make dental care a family affair. If you are a parent, brushing your teeth correctly is important to demonstrate good hygiene to your kids. Young children need assistance with technique, and nearly all kids need help with regularity. In fact, you may find that you are more consistent about brushing your teeth correctly when you are guiding others. You can create family memories of humming tunes or dancing while brushing together.
Want some individual instruction? Our dentists and hygienists are committed to preventative dentistry to save you time and money. We would love to offer you a demonstration on brushing your teeth correctly at your next visit. Call us today to book your appointment.