It seems like a simple question, but it’s much more difficult to answer than you’d think.
For many people, brushing their teeth is a lot like breathing – it’s done so often, and has been done for so long, that it just automatically happens.
Brushing your teeth properly is relatively easy to perfect. The act of brushing your teeth is very much a voluntary act. And far too often, it’s barely voluntary. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), about 30% of people in the United States brush their teeth once per day, at most.
To make matters worse, the same ADA study revealed that more than one-third of Americans aged 18-24 went at least two days without brushing their teeth in the past year.
Dr. Dental’s team of dentists treat a variety of oral health issues every day. Many of the most common dental maladies we see (like cavities and gum disease) can be reversed or avoided altogether with a general understanding of the “right” tooth brushing methods.
How to Properly Brush Your Teeth
Let’s run through the correct steps to brush your teeth.
Pre-brush check. Just like any other task, you can’t achieve optimal results without the best tools. In this case, the “tools” are your toothpaste and toothbrush. Make sure you have a soft-bristle brush. The shape or size isn’t critical – go with what you’re comfortable with – but if the bristles are too hard, you may irritate sensitive gums. We recommend an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste.
- Put your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums.
- Begin brushing at the gum line.
- Use compact, circular brush strokes. This helps “massage” the gums and teeth.
- Work from top to bottom on the outside of your teeth.
- Repeat step #4 on the inside of your teeth.
- Brush the tongue.
- After brushing, rinse your mouth vigorously with water.
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day.
Follow those eight steps, and you’ll improve your overall oral health – it’s that simple. Properly brushing your teeth is daily work. But it’s the type of work that pays off in the long run. Think of brushing your teeth like this: you can either do some extra work up front, or end up having your dentist do the heavy lifting later to repair the damage from NOT brushing your teeth.
There’s one more bonus step to optimal tooth and gum care – make sure you floss at least once per day. Flossing regularly is associated with lower bacteria levels in the mouth, and also reduced plaque. If you’re able to floss twice every day – after brushing – you’re well on your way to fewer (if any) cavities, fresher breath, and (most importantly) the healthiest teeth possible!
Visit Dr. Dental for Complete Oral Healthcare Needs
Dr. Dental is the leading network of dentists in the New England region. We offer an extensive range of services to meet and exceed your dental care requirements. Our dental deals and discounts include a new patient cleaning special, so if you’re looking for a new dentist, stop by today!
We have more than three dozen dentist offices throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. Visit any of our locations, or use our online scheduling tool. We look forward to seeing you soon – thanks for visiting Dr. Dental.