How to Brush Better in 2020
You may have excellent oral hygiene habits, and yet, you can still get oral health issues due to how you are brushing your teeth. There are specific guidelines for brushing your teeth properly so you can avoid tooth decay and gum disease. Find out what the American Dental Association and countless other health organizations recommend to have healthy teeth!
Brushing Your Teeth: Why It’s Important
Did you know that you should be brushing your teeth every day, several times a day? Many people don’t! In fact, in just one study of millennials, researchers found that only 3 in 10 millennials are brushing their teeth once a day. That’s not even the minimum recommendation to brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes at a time with quality toothpaste!
When you don’t brush your teeth enough, or you don’t do it properly, you leave yourself open to oral health diseases. This is all because of the plaque your mouth makes when you eat and drink. When you eat, sugars in all your foods and drinks will also mix with some mouth bacteria to create plaque. This is a sticky, clear, acidic substance that sticks to the teeth instead of getting washed down the throat.
When plaque isn’t taken off the teeth with proper brushing, it sits there, especially along the gum line. Because plaque is acidic, it will break up minerals in the teeth, creating dead spaces that can be hard to see until they are large. Those dead spaces are cavities, and they are parts of your teeth you can’t get back. Only a dentist can remove the decay and refill the area with dental material. Plaque will also irritate the gums, causing them to pull farther away from the teeth. This will lead to gum disease, bleeding gums, swollen gums, tooth loss and more. That’s why you want to arm yourself with proper brushing habits so you avoid all of these issues!
Tips for Better Brushing in 2020
Want to brush your teeth better this year? Want to avoid tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and other oral health issues? Follow these guidelines:
- Brush your teeth every single day, at least twice a day, for 2 minutes at a time. Brush after every meal to reduce your risk for oral health diseases even more.
- Brush your teeth before bed each night so you don’t have acidic plaque weakening and breaking up your teeth all throughout the night. This will help with bad breath in the morning as well.
- Always store your toothbrush in a ventilated container, such as a toothbrush holder with holes in it, or an attachable head for the toothbrush. You don’t want your toothbrush open to bathroom air where germs are so common. You also don’t want your toothbrush wet inside a Ziploc bag or other container that doesn’t breathe at all, or germs and bacteria will grow.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles start to become frayed. This will ensure the toothbrush does proper cleaning whenever you use it.
Process to Brush Better
Here are 6 steps for proper toothbrushing this year:
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush and wet the bristles so proper foaming of the toothpaste happens.
- Aim the toothbrush as a 45-degree angle towards the gum line when brushing.
- Use a gentle, circular motion on every tooth surface to dislodge food and plaque.
- Repeat on the inside surfaces as well.
- Use a light back and forth motion on the chewing surfaces, especially the molars, where food can become trapped in cracks and crevices.
- Spit out toothpaste after brushing. (There is no need to rinse. A little bit of fluoridated toothpaste in your mouth will continue to protect you against tooth decay).
Products and More
When brushing your teeth, use ADA-approved toothpaste. This means that a toothpaste product has been tested by the ADA and has been found to be effective in reducing your risk for tooth decay and oral health diseases. Always look for this seal when you are buying oral health care products at any location. Products that don’t have this seal aren’t tested for effectiveness, and they may not even be tested for safety.
For example, many dollar store brands of toothpastes, toothbrushes, and oral health care items come from different states and different countries. Those other locations may not have guidelines for product standards and may contain chemicals that will damage your teeth. That is why you want to use only ADA-approved products, which will include all major, trusted brands.
When choosing a proper toothbrush, check the toothbrush container for bristle softness. It will say “hard”, “medium”, or “soft” at the top of the label. We recommend that you choose toothbrushes with “soft” bristles, as more hard bristles can take enamel off of teeth that are more sensitive. It can also help you avoid gum recession because the bristles aren’t so harsh on the gum line.
You want to choose a toothpaste that also contains fluoride. This is a naturally-occurring mineral that has been shown to act as a shield for the teeth against bacteria and plaque. It’s already included in U.S. public water sources, but you can get extra defense if fluoride is in your toothpaste.
Schedule a Dental Visit
No oral health care routine is complete without properly having your teeth cleaned by a dentist. The ADA recommends visiting the dentist every 6 months for comprehensive dental exams and dental cleanings. These cleanings will be deep-cleanings by dental professionals that can help remove tartar, calcium, plaque, stains, and more from the teeth. We will also use this time to check the teeth and gums for signs of disease, sores, infections, and abnormalities. These exams and dental cleanings are the best ways to find cavities and other problems so that they can be fixed quickly without too much dental work. To schedule your dental cleaning and exam today, call Dr. Ania’s office at (303) 872-9940!