How to Correctly Brush Your Teeth Correctly For a Healthy Smile

Do you know how often do you brush your teeth? How long do you spend brushing your teeth? Did you know that poor dental health can lead to heart disease and other health problems? Delta Dental conducted a survey in 2014 asking people about their dental habits. They found that only 55% of people brushed their teeth twice a day. Of the remaining respondents, 29% said they brushed once a day. Most people say they know how to brush their teeth correctly but do they really? Keep reading for 8 tips how to brush your teeth correctly to keep your mouth healthy and clean!

Why Do We Need to Brush Our Teeth?

Food and drinks leave behind a film called plaque on your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that break down the enamel on your teeth. When plaque stays on your teeth, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Routine, proper toothbrushing helps remove plaque. It’s also important to see a dentist every 6 months. Dental hygienist removes extra plaque that remains even with good oral health practices.

Another important benefit of good oral hygiene is to decrease the risk of heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied the incidence of periodontitis. They found that more than 70% of Americans over the age of 64 have gum disease.

Recent studies have suggested a connection between heart disease and gum disease. When the gums become infected, the level of inflammation increases in your body. Gum disease can worsen heart disease and the severity of heart attacks.

How to Brush Your Teeth Correctly

So, let’s concentrate on how to make sure you’re taking the best care of your teeth. Some of these 8 tips may be surprising.

1. When Is the Best Time to Brush Your Teeth?

The dental community has told us for decades to brush our teeth at least twice each day. Do you know when the best time is to brush? It seems logical to brush your teeth right after eating breakfast in the morning.

In fact, it depends on what you had to eat. Foods that are high in sugar and acid cause your tooth enamel to get softer. This makes it more susceptible to abrasions or scratches.

This means that if you plan to have these types of food or drink, brush your teeth before you eat breakfast. The other option is to wait 30 minutes after finishing breakfast before brushing.

Brushing before breakfast removes the bacteria that’s been “feeding” on your teeth during the night. The fluoride in the toothpaste will help decrease nightly damage to your teeth. After breakfast, you can use an alkaline rinse or chew sugar-free gum.

Be sure to brush your teeth and floss before going to bed. This lowers the bacteria in your saliva and decreases the nighttime attack on your teeth.

2. How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth?

You’ve probably been told to brush your teeth for 2 minutes. Yet, an American Dental Association study found that people, on average, only brush for 45 seconds.

There are many digital apps available now that play music or have other types of timers. For children, they can brush their teeth “with” a favorite animal or character. These apps help make sure you brush for 2 minutes.

3. Should You Choose an Electric or Manual Toothbrush?

Both electric and manual toothbrushes, with correct use, can effectively clean your teeth. Electric toothbrushes are helpful for people with arthritis or other problems that make brushing more difficult. The moving bristles may help remove more plaque and improve your oral health.

4. How to Choose the Right Toothbrush

Make sure that whichever style you choose is comfortable to hold and helps you reach all your teeth.  You can find many different shapes, sizes, and styles of toothbrushes today.

Most dentists recommend using a soft-bristled brush. This removes the plaque and remaining food with less scraping of the gums. Brushes that have smaller heads make it easier to reach the back teeth.

If you choose an electric toothbrush, choose one that oscillates or rotates.

5. What Should You Look for in Toothpaste?

Most dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral found in food and drinking water. Some areas add extra fluoride to their drinking water to improve dental health.

Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel which protects against tooth decay. The presence of fluoride in the mouth also decreases the acidity and bacteria that can harm your teeth.

6. The Proper Steps for Brushing Your Teeth

Putting toothpaste on a toothbrush and randomly brushing around for a few seconds won’t achieve the best results. Give yourself 2 full minutes and use proper techniques to achieve the best oral health.

Using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, aim the toothbrush in a 45-degree angle to the gum. Brush in a circular motion over all surfaces of each tooth. Use a back and forth motion across the chewing surfaces.

Establish a routine pattern so you always brush all your teeth.

7. Should You Rinse After Brushing Your Teeth?

Once you finish brushing, spit out the excess toothpaste. This next instruction may take you by surprise.

Some experts recommend not rinsing your mouth after brushing. The purpose is to leave a little bit of toothpaste on your teeth. This allows more exposure to fluoride.

If you wish to rinse after brushing, consider a less vigorous rinse. This can keep more fluoride on your teeth.

8. Should You Use Mouthwash?

Choosing a mouthwash that has fluoride increases your protection against tooth decay. To achieve the best effect, use the mouthwash at a different time than when you brush. Using it right after brushing removes the fluoride on your teeth from the toothpaste.

Maybe consider using mouthwash after lunch. Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after using the mouthwash for the best effect.

Are You Looking for a Dentist?

Everyone knows that it’s important to brush your teeth but many people still don’t know how to brush your teeth correctly.

Westport Dental, located in the Westport area of St. Louis, Missouri, offers many dental services. These include cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dental care. We enjoy taking care of individuals and families.

Our staff uses state-of-the-art dental technology to provide more pain-free and quick dental procedures. Dr. Birk and his team strive to answer all questions and help patients feel at ease. Contact us today to ask questions and schedule an appointment.

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