Proper brushing is the first step on the journey to a healthier smile. This is not a secret, but what does that mean? How should you brush your teeth the right way. If you fail to brush your teeth thoroughly and with a good technique, your teeth may look and feel clean but layers of plaque will build up in hard-to-reach places and eventually it will cause tooth decay. That plaque can and will harden into tartar which will collect more plaque causing a vicious cycle that can lead to gum disease and other unwanted oral health issues.
Brushing your teeth the right way will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease while also freshening breath and keeping your smile looking whiter for longer.
How to brush your teeth properly: Step by Step
Step 1: Start with a clean, soft bristled toothbrush. (manual or electric)
Step 2: Wet the toothbrush and apply a pea sized amount of a fluoridated toothpaste.
Step 3: Angle your toothbrush to 45 degrees against the gum line. (roughly, no need to get out your protractor!)
Step 4: Work your toothbrush in a circular motion across your teeth. (You should be literally foaming at the mouth during this process.)
Step 5: Rinse and spit.
Step 6: Get back in there at a 45 degree angle and clean the backs, sides and all other surfaces of your teeth.
Step 7: Don’t forget your tongue!
How long should you brush your teeth?
The American Dental Association recommends you spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth to ensure you cover the entire surface area of your mouth and remove plaque from areas that may be difficult to reach. Those are where we spend most of our time during cleanings and fillings. (Not a coincidence) That may sound like a long time, but it goes by quickly when you get in the habit of paying individual attention to each tooth as you brush. Your teeth are an investment. Two minutes is the least you can do to protect them.
This two-minute timeframe is simply an estimate for how long it should take to do a thorough job, but it’s not a “magic number.” You may find you need slightly more or less time depending on the type of toothbrush you use or whether you have implants, bridgework, or wear any orthodontic appliances that make it more difficult to reach every surface. Remember to just strive towards 2 minutes. You don’t need a timer or a fancy timed toothbrush. Just pay attention to the amount of time you’re spending and be sure you aren’t rushing through it.
Pro tip: The recommended two minutes does not include flossing, so make sure to spend at least another minute or so flossing between teeth at least once per day.
How often should you brush your teeth?
Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. If you consume a larger than normal quantity of sugary foods or drinks or frequently snack during the day on sticky carbohydrates like cookies, candy or chips, you may want to brush your teeth more often.
Also keep in mind no amount of brushing will clean all of your teeth all the way. You will need to make and keep your twice annual dental cleaning appointment to ensure your mouth is at peak health . Schedule yours today.