It’s no secret that brushing your teeth is important, and, along with flossing daily and regular dental checkups, will help prevent cavities, decay, and gum disease. However, if you’re using the wrong techniques to brush your teeth, you may not be doing yourself as much good as you thought. To keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright, Dr. Hamby, a leading dentist in Fuquay Varina, is sharing how to brush your teeth the right way to prevent cavities.
Why Is Brushing Your Teeth So Important?
As you eat and drink throughout the day, food particles break down and form plaque, a thin, sticky film that coats the teeth and around the gums. Plaque contains bacteria, and as you eat or drink anything, the bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food particles left behind. As bacteria feed, they produce acids that break down tooth enamel and lead to gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth is the most effective way to get rid of the plaque and particles that build up, minimizing bacteria. In addition to preventing cavities and gum disease, brushing also prevents bad breath and stains from forming.
How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way
Now that you know exactly why you need to brush your teeth, it’s time to update your brushing technique to make sure you’re doing it properly. Otherwise, you may be leaving plaque and bacteria behind or damaging your enamel and delicate gum tissues which can lead to more problems in the future.
Use a Soft Toothbrush
First, make sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush that can reach everywhere in your mouth. Bristles that are too hard can damage your enamel and gum tissue, as we mentioned above, plus, they can’t bend properly to get under the gum tissue properly. A soft bristle is gentle enough for your teeth, they bend to properly clean more thoroughly, and they still remove plaque and bacteria effectively. Also, make sure when you’re choosing a brush, it’s got the American Dental Association seal of approval on it.
Change Your Toothbrush Regularly
Using your toothbrush twice a day puts some wear and tear on the bristles, and over time, it becomes less effective. Typically, it’s recommended to change out your brush every three months, or change it when you see the bristles looking frayed, bent, or discolored.
Using your ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush, you’ll want to follow these steps to properly clean your teeth:
- Place the toothbrush on the outside of the teeth at a 45-degree angle toward the gums.
- Move the brush forward and backward in short strokes, about the width of each tooth.
- To clean the inside of the front teeth, turn the brush vertically and brush up-and-down, while using the 45-degree angle, horizontal method for the inside of the molars.
- Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
Do this for two minutes (30 seconds per top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right), twice per day. This, along with flossing, avoiding sugar, and seeing your dentist regularly will keep your teeth bright and healthy!
Schedule an Appointment at Our Fuquay Varina Dental Office
As we mentioned, part of a healthy dental routine is getting regular checkups. Call our dental office in Fuquay Varina at 919-552-2431 to schedule an appointment or fill out our appointment request form below to get started.