Although it is an easy job as it may seem to brush our teeth, very few of us brush our teeth as well as we could. Thankfully, where there are mistakes, there are ways to fix them.
How do you choose from the wide variety of brushes in the market?
When you buy a toothbrush, you make sure your brush can cover the places that need covering. That is everywhere you should be able to reach with a toothbrush. It can be a power toothbrush or a manual one. It should also have soft bristles. The bristles need to be able to bend, to kind of get right under that gum. The size of the brushes head is important too, especially if you have a smaller mouth. Brushes also have various sizes of handles and different angles. Some are more flexible than others. The critical part, dentists agree is the bristles that remove the bacteria and loosen plaque from your teeth and gums. That plaque can cause gum disease and lead to tooth decay. Sometimes people think that the harder the bristles are, the more they will clean. But that is not something that is necessarily true. Soft bristles clean very effectively, more than the hard bristles. The hard bristles actually can wear down your tooth structure.
When it comes to brushing, harder isn’t better. One of the biggest issues that people have is that they try to scrub their teeth too hard. Plaque is soft and loose, so you do not have to scrub.
You should brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time.
When you find a good toothbrush, it is sometimes hard to give it up. But when you see changes in the bristles - when they become discolored, bent, or dirty looking – it is time to replace the brush with a new one. The toothbrush loses its power when the bristles become frayed. So change it at least every 3 to 4 months. Also, it is wise not to share your brush with anyone else. And keep it in the open air to keep mold or bacteria from growing on it when it is wet.
You must start from the gum, and go up and down in little circular up-and-down motions. If you do it wrong, it will not help you. In fact, you can do damage.
Bacteria often hang out where your tooth meets your gum. We miss that area a lot. You have about a millimeter of gum tissue where your tooth comes outside your gum, you need to get under there, just about a millimeter, maybe 2 or 3 millimeters, right under the gum. So the bristle needs to be able to bend. Brushing your teeth means brushing your whole tooth or at least everything you can get to with your brush. And that includes just under the gum.
It is tempting, sometimes, to immediately go to the restroom to get rid of the remnants of that meal you just had, but that is better than not brushing at all. After having a meal, you have the acid sitting in your mouth and now if you are going to brush your teeth you are using abrasives. Thus you are helping the acid erode away your tooth. So we must wait for 15 or 20 minutes. That is long enough for the saliva in your mouth to do its work on the acid before you start brushing. You can also rinse your mouth with some water to get rid of some of that acid before you brush.
Brush at least twice a day, at least 2 minutes each time every day. You must make sure that at least one of those times is exceptional. That is brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a mouthwash. As long as we go in and stir up the bacteria once every 24 hours, we can keep them less productive and less dangerous. Once a day, a good thorough brushing-flossing-rinsing does wonders.