By now you are probably well established in your tooth brushing habits. Most of us, without even knowing it, have a distinct order we follow when we brush. We know that we should brush two minutes twice a day, change our toothbrush every 3 months and brush with a fluoride toothpaste. However, that’s not all you need to know about your brushing routine. Your technique matters too!
The American Dental Association recommends the following brushing techniques for a healthy mouth:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- 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.
Remember that you’re missing 35% of your tooth surface if you stop right there. Continue your oral hygiene routine by flossing. There are many varieties of floss on the market – flavored, waxed, floss holders, water flossers, etc – so there really is no excuse to skip this step.
We applaud you on taking the time to brush every day, but it doesn’t do your smile any good unless you are doing it the right way. If you persistently battle tooth decay, gum disease or other dental problems, ask your dentist about how you can improve your dental care at home.