Brushing your teeth is a regular part of daily life. However, you may not realize that you’re doing it all wrong.
We tend to go through the motions when it comes to our morning routines without much thought. If you’re one of the many people who can relate to this, you’re only leaving yourself vulnerable to common oral health issues, like cavities and tooth decay.
To learn how to brush teeth the right way, keep reading as we’re going to cover the proper brushing technique and other tips below to ensure you’re keeping your oral hygiene up to snuff.
How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way 🪥
The entire point of teeth brushing is to remove dental plaque and bacteria that continuously form on chewing surfaces and the gum line. When plaque isn’t properly removed, it will sit on the gun line and chewing surfaces and feed on leftover food particles. From there, it’ll turn into tooth decay or worse — periodontal disease.
By learning how to brush your teeth the proper way, you’ll be able to keep bacteria, cavities, and bad breath at bay before your next professional dental cleaning.
First, you’ll need the right toothbrush and a brand of toothpaste recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) for fighting plaque and other dental issues. Second, you’ll want to follow these tooth brushing steps:
- Start with the outer surfaces of your teeth. Gently brush your upper and lower teeth, working in circular motions that make their way over each tooth. Take your time when doing this to ensure you don’t miss a tooth!
- Next, tilt your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle aimed at your gum line. Very gently brush along your gumline in a back-and-forth motion to lift any trapped plaque or food particles. You’ll want to do this in short increments to ensure you don’t miss a spot.
- Now brush the inner surfaces of your teeth. This area is often overlooked as it’s on the inside of the mouth, however, plaque builds up there just the same as the outer surfaces. Make sure to get every tooth, keeping up with a 45-degree angle and gentle circular motions — and don’t forget the gum lines!
- Now clean the tops of your teeth using short back-and-forth motions to lift trapped food particles.
- Lastly, brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria. You can use back-and-forth motions or circular motions for this.
It should take at least two whole minutes to brush your teeth, morning and night. You want to remember to be gentle so you don’t irritate your gums and always use at least a pea sized amount of toothpaste each time.
Tips For Better Tooth Brushing 🦷
Using the proper brushing technique to ensure that you’re removing plaque and maintaining your gum health is critical. Of course, using the right tools and knowing a few dos and don’ts can do even more wonders for your oral hygiene.
Here are a few tips to help you do a better job of brushing your teeth:
- You always want to make sure you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. To ensure you’re brushing for long enough, it’s a good idea to use a timer.
- While brushing twice a day is the standard, it’s a good idea to brush after each meal if possible — especially if those meals are carbohydrate-heavy or latent with sugar (which plaque feeds off of).
- Be sure to choose the right toothbrush. The ADA recommends using a soft bristled brush to remove plaque and food debris. Small bristles aside, using an electric toothbrush with a small head is also optimal for the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. An electric toothbrush is also excellent if you have limited dexterity.
- Refrain from using hard bristled brushes — even if you are using an electric toothbrush — as they can actually wear down your tooth enamel and tear the gums.
- Don’t overbrush your teeth. Always use a gentle approach when brushing as brushing too hard can lead to tooth and gum abrasions, receding gums, and mouth sensitivity.
- Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, keeping an eye out for signs of wear. If you notice that your toothbrush is worn down after two months, toss it and open up a new toothbrush. You also want to change out your toothbrush after any illnesses to avoid reinfection.
- Store your toothbrush in a cabinet or cover it with a toothbrush cover to avoid dust, germs, bacteria, and other matter from gathering on the bristles.
- Make sure you’re also flossing. Good oral hygiene means cleaning out all the nooks and crannies in your mouth, and no amount of proper brushing technique will allow you to access those spaces. This is where flossing comes in, which you want to do twice daily as well. Some people even floss after every meal, which is also beneficial to ensure you’re getting a head start on plaque prevention from under the gum line and in between teeth.
- Make sure you’re using the right toothpaste as well. Opt for a fluoride toothpaste that contains hydroxyapatite. Both fluoride and nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) work to make your tooth enamel more resistant to bacterial and acid actions. They also work to help build up the natural and healthy minerals of the enamel, which helps to prevent tooth decay or reverse minor tooth decay.
- Don’t forget to follow up with an antibacterial mouthwash to get rid of any leftover bacteria. However, you’ll want to wait at least 30 minutes after brushing to ensure the fluoride or nHA from your toothpaste isn’t rinsed away!
Find a Great Local Dentist 🧑⚕️
Brushing your teeth properly every day will ensure that your tooth structure remains strong and your mouth remains free of gum disease. Of course, you’ll also want to visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist. (A professional dental hygienist is trained to ensure any and all plaque and tarter is removed from your teeth, so you won’t have to worry if you missed a spot!)
Give us a call today at Wayzata Dental to get your cleaning on the books so your smile can shine brighter!