If you’re reading this blog title and thinking, “Seriously?”, you’re probably not the only one. You’ve been brushing your teeth successfully for as long as you can remember. And maybe your oral hygiene is great. Still, there are plenty of people out there unknowingly using the wrong brushing methods and setting themselves up for potential damage in the future.
Just in case you’re one of those people, please read through our brushing technique tips to dispel of any common brushing habits that could actually end up hurting your dental health.
Know Your Pastes & Brushes
Not all toothbrushes are the same. The head of your brush should fit the size and shape of your mouth. Softer bristles are all important. All toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or when the bristles are fraying.
When choosing a toothpaste, stick to one that includes fluoride. You should also keep an eye out for the ADA seal on the tube.
Don’t Brush Too Soon After Eating
Did you know you’re not supposed to brush immediately after eating? It’s recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes to allow the acidic saliva that occurs while eating to rinse out of your mouth.
During this 30 minutes, be sure to drink plenty of water. If you don’t wait 30 minutes, you could be spreading that acid all over your enamel while brushing.
Two minutes is the suggested length for brushing. Two minutes is plenty of time for the fluoride to soak into your teeth.
Work on Your Brushing Form
It never hurts to refresh your brushing skills—you probably haven’t really thought about them since you were a toddler. Keep in mind when reading the following steps that it’s best to divide your mouth into quadrants, and always change up the order in which you brush each quadrant to make sure no one spot gets neglected.
- Your brush should be held at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Use short strokes along the gum line and make an effort to reach the far back of your mouth.
- While brushing the parts of your teeth used for chewing, hold the toothbrush parallel to the floor.
- To successfully clean the backs of your teeth, hold your brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes.
- Move from back to front; scrub your tongue to rid any remaining food particles or bacteria.
- Don’t rinse with water. This step trips a lot of people up, but the water washes away the fluoride on your enamel. Instead, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
Do Your Due Dilligence
On top of following these brushing tips, you need to floss every day and see your dentist twice a year. With this combination, you’ll be able to maintain a happy, healthy smile. Keeping those pearly whites shiny is a commitment, but worth it!