If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to how you brush your teeth, beyond squirting on some tooth- paste and scrubbing back and forth. But how you brush your teeth matters a great deal; frequency, duration, technique, and the toothbrush all influence the effective- ness of your brushing.
To gain the maximum benefits, you should brush for at least two minutes morning and night, using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a flexible neck. These brushes remove the plaque and debris without damaging your teeth and gums.
It’s all in the technique.
You should clean your teeth systematically, starting at the back of your mouth with the toothbrush bristle at the gum line on a 45° angle, brushing gently in a circular motion. If you scrub too hard from side to side, you can run the risk of causing your gums to re- cede, as well as damaging the tooth enam- el. You should take care to brush carefully along the inner, outer and chewing surfac- es, making sure you angle the toothbrush so you can reach the inner front areas of the teeth, which are often missed.
And yes, while it may seem strange at first to brush your tongue, it reduces the bacteria in your mouth and helps your breath stay fresh. All you need to do is push the bristles on the tongue and scrape gently forward.
When you have finished brushing, try to spit out the toothpaste but don’t rinse with water. Leaving some toothpaste on your teeth gives your teeth some ongoing protection.
If limited dexterity is an issue, you might consider using a powered toothbrush. They can be programmed to run for two minutes, making it easier to brush for the right length of time.
Tempting as it is to think that pressing harder on your teeth equals a better clean, the fact is that too much pressure damages your gums and tooth enamel. If the bristles are wearing out on your toothbrushes be- fore the three-month mark, you’re pressing too hard and you should ask your dentist to show you a less damaging technique. Replace your brush when the bristles start to spread, or every three months, whichever comes first.
If you have any questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to call us at Richardson Dental Surgery on 6862 1261.