Written by Dr. Sid Solomon
Proper oral health requires at least two minutes of brushing, twice a day. For only 240 seconds of your time, your teeth will remain strong and healthy. Seems like a small commitment, but many adults fail to reach that time period. Here are some tips to help anyone properly brush their teeth, removing plaque and protecting teeth and gums from disease.
The first thing you should do is to tilt your tooth brush at a forty-five degree angle. It helps to visualize your mouth as a division of quadrants. Sweep the brush against the gumline and along the length of the teeth away from the gum line. Clean the inside of your teeth with the brush inside your mouth, again angled at a forty-five degree angle. Use short back and forth strokes to carefully remove any debris that’s caught in the crevices of the tooth.
Finish by gently brushing along the length of the tongue to remove any bacteria that gathers there.
You should aim for a toothbrush with soft bristles. Some people feel like the firmer bristles stimulate the gums, but the reality is that you can cause yourself gum damage and risk infection with a firmer brush. It’s also preferable to get a tooth brush with a small head so that you don’t have to strain your jaws to brush your teeth.
A powered tooth brush can provide a good alternative for those that have trouble reaching certain portions of the mouth. Brushing the back of the mouth, for instance, can trigger some people’s gag reflex. As a result, a powered tooth brush gives you a more sensitive approach that maycause you less discomfort.
As for the toothpaste, preference plays a role. Dental hygienists may also provide specific advice based on your diagnosis. For example, a dentist might recommend a certain paste that is good for gingivitis or tartar control. There are also pastes that reduce the amount of staining that occurs on teeth, or can help people with sensitive teeth.
You should replace your toothbrush as it begins to show wear. If you keep your brush moist, that may be more often than a dry brush. It’s recommended that you consider replacing your brush at least once every three months. It’s also recommended to change brushes after you’ve had a cold. Your bristles are a breeding ground for bacteria if they are not cared for properly, so make sure you have a clean space to hang your tooth brush and let it dry.
—Dr. Sid Solomon is a professional dental hygienist with offices in Southern California. Dr. Sid Solomon describes dental work as his passion, citing his twenty years experience in the field. You can read Dr. Sid Solomon reviews online, or book an appointment with Sid Solomon DDS.