There are right and wrong ways to brush your teeth. The methods and tips have changed over time. So, you may be in need of a refresher.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste:
The type of toothbrush that practically all dentists recommend these days is a soft-bristled brush with a smallish head. This allows you to reach those hard-to-get-to back teeth and the soft bristles keep you from brushing too hard, which can cause damage to the gumline and even remove tooth enamel. You should get a new toothbrush when you see signs of wear. As for toothpaste, that is a question to ask your dentist because of the various types available for a multitude of needs: whitening, sensitive teeth, gum disease, etc. At the very least your toothpaste should contain fluoride.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day. For those who obsess over clean teeth and fresh breath, brushing after each meal is also acceptable. Any more than that is unnecessary and borderline excessive.
Length of Time Spent Toothbrushing:
Dental experts agree that two minutes (120 seconds) is the proper amount of time needed to give the right attention to all the teeth in your mouth. Most adults do not last that long, but we have faith in you!
How to Do It:
Make gentle strokes using a short back-and-forth motion. Do not brush too vigorously as it can exacerbate receding gums and even wear down tooth enamel. Work the front and back, inside and outside, being sure to get those difficult to reach back teeth and the pitted areas of the chewing surfaces. Then, pay special attention to the gum line. Angle your toothbrush at 45-degrees, place it on the area where the gum meets the tooth and make a rolling/sweeping motion away from the gum. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and palate if you want to fight halitosis (bad breath).
If you’d like more information, call Dr. Jim Const and our team at Jim Const, DDS. Make an appointment at: 415-391-2559, or come by our office in San Francisco, California.