It’s not a surprise to anyone that proper oral hygiene can play a major role in your health. What is surprising is the number of people who don’t actually know how to properly care for their teeth. This in spite of multiple classes when we were in school (remember the bright pink pills?), admonishments from our parents and the ADA reminding us that twice a day brushing is ideal. Don’t worry, if you’re among those who aren’t clear on how to properly care for your teeth, you’re hardly alone.
First Off, Get The Right Toothbrush: You can’t do the job right if you don’t have the right tools, as such it’s vital that you get the correct toothbrush for your teeth. What you specifically need varies in accordance with your current oral health, and what you’re trying to achieve. If your goal is to remove plaque efficiently, then get a soft-bristled brush. On the other hand, small spaces require a narrow-headed toothbrush, consult with your dentist for where your greatest concerns lay.
A Minute Of Prevention, Weeks Of Cure: Take the time you need each night and morning to care for your teeth properly. Two minutes is the target time for a proper brushing, and it’s a goal many people fall short of. May we humbly suggest using the stopwatch feature on your phone while brushing? That little extra bit of time will save you agonizing time in the dental chair.
A Job Worth Doing: Is worth doing correctly. Make sure you have the proper tilt on your toothbrush, keep it at a solid 45 degrees and ensure you’re hitting both the internal and external areas of your teeth. While you’re at it, hit the roof of your mouth, your tongue, under your tongue, and don’t forget that space between your gums and cheeks. It pays to be thorough.
A Gentle Touch: Yes, it’s important to be completely thorough when cleaning your teeth. Do not mistake this for being aggressive. Small accurate strokes will ensure that you properly clean each area, and get the areas you want to target. At the end of the process, every surface of your teeth should have been properly, and gently, brushed.
Did We Mention Your Tongue?: Yes, we know we did, but it’s worth mentioning twice. The tongue can be a hotbed of food, sugars, and bacteria, and can be a major contributor both in tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath), so take the time to give it a brushing too. Yes, we know, it’s kind of ticklish, but its worth enduring.
There you go! It’s really quite simple, it just takes a little attention to detail. May we also humbly suggest that you follow up your brushing regimen with a good flossing, and then finish it all off with a minute long swish of mouthwash. Just like spending a full two minutes on brushing your teeth, that full minute wash will make sure you hit all the nooks and crannies and eliminate the bacteria that want to eat your teeth. Teeth are for doing the eating, not being eaten!