Brushing your teeth is so routine that you may take it for granted that there is a right way and a wrong way to get the most out of your two daily tooth brushings. Here are a few basic things to remember:
2 minutes. Brush for two minutes and continually move the brush around the entire inner and outer arch of the upper and lower teeth, being sure that back and front of all teeth are attended to. Most electric toothbrushes are set to run a 2-minute cycle.
Focus on the gum line. As you move your brush around, don’t just brush the teeth alone… but you should also be brushing the gums, so focus along the gum line. The gum line is where most of the food debris and plaque deposits will collect anyway, and it can be like a little massage for the gums, keeping the gums clean and healthy supports the overall health of your teeth. The gums are important!
45-degree angle. Brushing at a 45-degree angle aims the bristles of the bush for optimum cleaning between the teeth and under the gums as you focus along the gum line and go around the teeth. So angle the brush upward 45 degrees on the upper arch and downward 45 degrees on the lower arch.
Opt for Soft. Soft bristled brushes are just a effective at cleaning the teeth and removing plaque as hard or medium, and unlike hard or medium, soft or extra soft brushes are gentle on those oh-so-important gums. Using a soft touch is also important. Too-hard brushing can damage the gums and cause gingival recession.
2 times per day. Brushing twice daily keeps the bacteria in the mouth in check. In the morning and before bed are generally the ideal times to brush. Some patients may be recommended a different frequency, but 2 times is generally the best. Brushing too often may be hard on the enamel and gums.
Many people may have learned to brush a certain way at a very young age and could have developed improper or sub-par brushing techniques that have been ingrained into habit over many years. An occasional review of the best techniques currently recognized in dentistry can also be a helpful reminder to review your own brushing routine and make sure it’s as good as it could be, and to help teach children learning to brush on their own. All of us at Mall of Georgia Dentistry know that good brushing and flossing are the foundation of great oral health, and we want the best for our patients… so brush up!