You’ve probably been brushing for as long as you can remember. Even if you have good technique, it is probably good to revisit some basic success principles to maintain a high level of oral health.
From the type of bristles you choose to the level of pressure you should place on your teeth, this step-by-step guide to better brushing is full of tips to help you get the most out of your dental routine.
Step 1: Pick the right products.
Just as everyone’s dental situation is different, so are the tools necessary to meet your unique health needs:
- Sensitive Teeth: those with tooth sensitivity should stay away from whitening toothpastes and opt for a gentler, enamel-fortifying brand instead. Enamel provides protection to the tooth and does not regrow.
- Minimizing enamel erosion: choosing a brush with softer bristles can also help combat enamel erosion.
- Gingivitis: it may benefit you to try a paste or gel designed for tartar control and pick a brush with varied bristles for help with hard-to-reach areas.
Step 2: Watch the clock.
Brushing teeth should take approximately two minutes. Any shorter, and you’ve likely skipped a few areas that could develop into problems down the road. To keep you on track, set a timer and watch your pace to make sure every area of your mouth gets enough attention. You can also use an electronic toothbrush with a timer. Make sure you do this at least twice a day.
Step 3: Start with hard to reach areas first.
This means the molars. Your front teeth may be the easiest to brush, but the back molars can be a haven for food particles and oral bacteria. It is easy to lose focus so start with what is hardest first.
Step 4: Brush up on the proper technique.
Going too hard and too fast not only runs the risk of missing key problem areas but can also do some serious damage to your gums and enamel. Some proper brushing techniques:
- Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle, and gently brush back and forth.
- Brush along the gumline and the inside and back surfaces as well.
Step 5: Clean your tongue.
After you’ve finished brushing your teeth, give your tongue a good cleaning with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Your tongue can be a haven for smelly and harmful bacteria. Your breath will smell better and your palate will feel refreshed.
Step 6: Don’t forget to floss.
Even the best brushing technique can’t get between the tighter spaces of your teeth. To reach every nook and cranny in your mouth, grab some floss and string it gently between and around each tooth. There are some alternatives if you find conventional dental floss challenging:
- Dental picks
- Interproximal brushes
- Water flossers
Step 7: Eating “natural scrubbers”
Chomping on crunchy fruits and vegetables can have a brushing effect that minimizes buildup. Another simple way to help prohibit the growth of oral bacteria is to chew sugar-free gum that contains xylitol. These are NOT alternatives to brushing and flossing but every little bit helps!
Share the News with Our Dental Team
Last, but not least, let us, your Columbia SC dental team, in on your new brushing skills. Keeping us appraised on your efforts and products that work (or don’t work) for you may in turn affect your treatment plan, and/or result in prescribed dental products and additional guidance to help you achieve your oral health goals.
If you need to make an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you soon!