Brushing your teeth seems a very easy task. In fact, it is practically a second nature for most of us. But is there a right or wrong way of brushing your teeth? Or do electric toothbrushes clean better than their manual counterparts? Or how often should I brush my teeth?
Learn the answers to these important questions, along with other useful tips in this article.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
Toothbrushes come in various forms – there’s your good old manual toothbrush, and there’s the more advanced electric ones. And to take good care of your mouth, you have to choose one that’s right for you.
According to studies, there’s not much difference in the effectiveness of manual and electric toothbrushes; rather, what’s more important is that you are comfortable in using it.
One important reminder, though, is to choose a brush that has soft bristles. Some people think that harder bristles clean better, but they actually don’t. In fact, harder bristles can wear your teeth faster while soft bristles clean more effectively. That’s because soft bristles are flexible and can bend right under the gums to loosen up any plaque that has accumulated in there.
The Proper Method
There are different brushing methods prescribed for different cases. But in general, the proper way of brushing is done by, first, pointing the bristles of your toothbrush towards the gumline. These allow the tip of the bristles to go underneath and gums and loosen the deposits there.
When brushing, don’t do it roughly. This is another mistake that most of us do.
Instead of vigorous strokes, use a gentle vibrating motion so you can massage the gums at the same time. Count one to twenty, then do a sweeping motion from the gumline towards the biting surface of the teeth.
After brushing, be sure to clean your tongue as well. Most manual toothbrushes come with a tongue scraper at the back.
Scrape your tongue to get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath.
The Recommended Frequency
Theoretically, brushing once a day is already enough as long as you’re doing it right. After all, plaque matures and starts to wreak havoc on your oral tissues after 48 hours. But just to be sure, dentists recommend twice a day brushing or brushing every after meals.
The Prescribed Duration
It sure takes time to brush your teeth well. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, and then flossing all the in-between surfaces of your teeth.
Use a timer to mark the 2-minute period. Better yet, listen to your favorite song and brush until it ends.
Changing your Toothbrush
A good toothbrush can sometimes be hard to give up. However, according to the American Dental Association you have to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or as soon as the bristles start to look worn. You also have to change after having colds or any viral infection, as viruses can persist in your toothbrush for many days.
So now that you have these tips, be sure to follow them. If you need additional tips or help on how to properly brush your teeth or anything about oral hygiene for that matter, consult your dentist.