PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY - Brushing Your Teeth
BRUSHING YOUR TEETH
Proper tooth brushing involves four things: a toothbrush with soft bristles, toothpaste with fluoride, the correct angle of brushing, and brushing in a pattern. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your brushing sessions.
- Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, it’s important to brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bed.
- We recommend the use of a toothbrush with soft bristles. Soft bristles with rounded tips are kinder to your teeth and gums, and they also make it easier to remove plaque below the gumline, where periodontal disease starts.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride hardens the outer enamel layer of the teeth. It might stop a cavity in its tracks and give you more resistance to future cavities.
- Angle the bristles of the brush along the gum line at a 45- degree angle and apply firm pressure so the bristles slide under the gum line.
- Vibrate the brush while you move it in short back and forth strokes and in small circular motions. Brush two or three teeth at a time and then move to the next teeth, allowing some overlap.
- Tilt the brush and use the tip to brush the backs of the front teeth.
- It’s fine to brush in any regular pattern you choose, but since the insides of teeth tend to get less attention, you might start with the insides of the upper teeth, then go to the insides of the lower teeth. Switch to the outsides of the upper teeth, and then the outsides of the lower teeth. Brush the chewing surfaces of the upper teeth, then the lower teeth. Complete your routine by gently brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth. This removes germs and keeps your breath fresh.
- Change your toothbrush when the bristles are worn or bent, at least every three months. Old bristles don’t clean well under the gum line, and they host more plaque and disease-causing bacteria.