Am I Brushing Wrong?
We all know that brushing our teeth is an important part of an oral care routine, but what you may not know is what constitutes a good brushing routine. In order to ensure a bright, healthy smile for years to come, it’s important to do a thorough job of brushing when you do. For a healthy smile, the ADA recommends brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, using an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Once you’ve got the toothpaste on the brush, follow these steps for proper and effective technique:
- Angle your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth in short strokes on one tooth at a time.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
Make sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing wears on your enamel over time, so make sure the bristles are soft, and that you’re thorough, but gentle. A good way to gauge how hard you’re brushing is to try it with your nondominant hand. It’ll feel a little awkward at first, because you can’t press down as hard. That’s how much pressure you should be applying all the time.
Also, it’s very important to make sure you’re brushing long enough. Most people don’t brush for the entire recommended 2-3 minutes. You want to make sure that you’re getting all the surfaces of all of your teeth as best you can, which should take at least 2-3 minutes. If you’re not making it at least this long, you’re most likely neglecting your back teeth. The best way to ensure you’re sticking it out is to set a timer ( either a kitchen timer, or get an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer).
Follow these tips and visit your dentist regularly to take great care of your beaming smile!