Just because you’ve been brushing your teeth since you were little doesn’t necessarily mean you’re brushing properly. If you’ve been getting bad reviews from your dental hygienist, it may be time to relearn the basics. Below is a step-by-step guide to the most effective brushing techniques.
1) Choose your products wisely
As 88% of people over the age of 65 and 50% of people between the ages of 18 and 64 suffer from some degree of gum recession, choosing the softest nylon bristle brush is essential. Look for brushes labeled as extra soft or soft for the gentlest stimulation of your gums while brushing. Opt for a brush with a small head, as it will allow greater range for those harder-to-reach spots.
Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, and if you have any tooth sensitivity, opt for a sensitive formula, like Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity.
2) Getting Started
Dampen your toothbrush with water and plop a pea-size amount of toothpaste onto your brush.
3) Gripping Your Brush
Begin with the brush parallel to your lips. For top teeth, you will want to tilt your brush up about 45 degrees and for bottom teeth, down about 45 degrees.
4) Proper Brushing Technique
While you may have been shuffling from side to side in the past, you will want to concentrate on each individual tooth, starting with the top front teeth. Spend several seconds on each tooth before moving on to the next. Slowly work your way around your entire mouth.
Be sure to brush in a circular motion as opposed to the traditional back and forth. It is also important to pay careful attention to your gum line. You want to stimulate the gums, without overstressing them. Light, but targeted, should be your goal with gum brushing. Be sure to reach all gum line areas, including the gum line areas surrounding hard-to-reach molars.
Speaking of molars – be sure to address these bacteria laden pockets in the back of your mouth. Attack these bad boys with your brush perpendicular to your lips and in-and-out motions.
Just because your cute coworker can’t see them, doesn’t mean you can skimp on the insides of your teeth. Starting with the inner sides of your molars, flip your brush towards your gums and brush around the interior sides of your teeth.
5) Tongues are nasty
Even nastier than you already think! Tons of bacteria builds up on your tongue, which can be harmful to your teeth and gums. Be extra gentle while brushing your tongue to avoid damaging gentle tongue tissue. Not only will this ward off bacteria, but it will also leave your breath minty fresh.
Use your cupped hands or a Dixie cup to catch some tap water. Swish for a few seconds and spit.
Rinsing also includes properly rinsing your toothbrush. Allow it to run under water for several seconds to ensure everything you’ve just cleaned away doesn’t make its way back into your mouth.
Mouthwash is a great way to freshen your breath at the end of a good clean.
7) Final Note
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. If you aren’t keeping track, just be weary of bristles falling out of place or losing shape. It’s always smart to replace your toothbrush after recovering from a cold.
Proper dental hygiene is your ticket to a long life with your natural teeth. In case you’ve been less than stellar and have a few gold teeth that are breaking loose, be sure to contact Cash for Dental Scrap to make some quick cash for your golden choppers.