You’ve been doing it since you were five. You switch to auto pilot morning and night and get it over with. But are you doing it correctly? At Cornwall Dental Arts, we’re surprised at how many of our patients have room for improvement.
Here are vital tooth brushing tips:
1. Take your time.
It’s understandable. You want to get it over with and go to bed. Proper teeth cleaning takes time and careful attention. Time yourself the next time you brush—you might be surprised at how quickly you finish. The process should take at least two to three minutes. It can also be beneficial to take a different route around your mouth every few days. By changing your routine, you approach areas from a different, and possibly, better angle.
2. Don’t forget to floss.
No matter how agile you can be with your brush, it’s problematic to clear away the plaque from all those narrow gaps between your teeth. That is where bacteria can easily multiply and start the decay process.
3. Use the right toothbrush.
It is ironic that some people damage their enamel or gums because they brush too forcefully with a rigid brush. We counsel patients to only use a soft brush. If you’ve had gum grafts, you may want to use an extra soft brush.
4. Don’t keep your tooth brush near the toilet.
This is horrible to think about, but each time the toilet is flushed, bacteria is sent far into the air—even if you close the lid. Keep your toothbrush in a clean place and allow it to air dry.
5. Use fluoride toothpaste.
This may seem like a no-brainer but you may be surprised that some oral care products don’t contain fluoride. And you may think it’s only for babies. Not true. Your enamel is constantly under assault from acidic foods and drinks and fluoride helps it remineralize.
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