How To Properly Brush Your Teeth in 4 Steps
In 2016, the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute conducted a study of oral health facts of American adults. An overwhelming majority, 80%, considered a healthy, white smile the key to confidence and progression in career and other life facets. Unfortunately, though, 74% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease.
But there are simple, preventative measures that can be undertaken to prevent periodontal disease. Proper and routine tooth brushing techniques are the first line of defense in the fight against tooth and gum decay. For healthy teeth and gums, consider the following tooth brushing techniques.
- Choose The Right Toothbrush
First, the right toothbrush is the foundation on which to lay a proper tooth brushing strategy. The wrong kind of toothbrush can strip enamel and dentin from the surface of the tooth. This can cause discomfort and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.A soft to medium bristle brush is optimal. Also, be sure to replace the brush about every four weeks, before the bristles splay. Splayed bristles are jagged and rough against the tooth’s surface and can wear down the protective enamel and dentin.When toothbrushes are manufactured, the bristles are rounded into soft, even domes. Over time, the domes wear out and become serrated, and start to scrape at the tooth like a knife. Positioning the toothbrush correctly will also protect enamel and dentin while cleaning off plaque and bacteria.
- Proper Brush Position
Most people brush with a ‘sawing’ motion. This does not clean the plaque that sticks around the edges of the tooth or in between the teeth. Holding the brush incorrectly causes it to skip over the surface of the tooth, leaving plaque and tartar to build up over time. By positioning the brush at the correct angle, the surface of the tooth is contacting with the brush and getting cleaned at all levels.Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and brush in a gentle, circular motion, being sure to make contact with all sides of the tooth. To properly clean the insides of the top and bottom teeth, angle the brush vertically and make an upward, swiping motion.
- Don’t Brush Too Hard!
Also, be careful not to scrub too hard or fast. Too hard, and gums can, over time, recede from the base of the tooth. This can lead to sensitivity, gum infections, and gum decay. Brush too fast and quick, and the tooth will not get fully and properly cleaned. Each brushing session should last about two minutes.If proper techniques are employed, teeth only need brushed twice per day; once in the morning, and again at night before bed and after all meals are taken. However, flossing can be unlimited.
- Don’t Overdo It
Too much of a good thing is rarely a good thing and brushing too frequently is no different. Frequent and improper brushing will weaken the tooth and cause the gums to recede.
In addition to a proper tooth brushing regimen, visiting the dentist for routine cleanings is a proven way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
The caring and keeping of one’s natural teeth is an important health issue. Using the right toothbrush, replacing it frequently, and positioning it correctly over the tooth will protect the enamel and gums. Failure to follow these simple steps can lead to pain, decay and gum disease, and expensive, preventable dental procedures.
For affordable, quality dental care in the Miami and Coral Gables area of South Florida, please visit Dr. Ramon Bana DDS and prevent tooth decay and gum disease before they start.