Tips On How To Brush Your Teeth Properly

By Tiffany Tseng. May 7th 2016

Having clean teeth is important to both your smile and your overall health. Here is a quick overview on how to brush your teeth properly, and the benefits of having clean teeth.

How Long and How Often?

  • Each brushing should be around two minutes. Not 30 seconds, which, for some reason, has become the generally accepted rule!
  • It is recommended to brush your teeth at least two times a day, once in the morning and once before bed.
  • If possible, it is ideal to brush right after each meal.

Helpful Brushing Tips Techniques

Below are some helpful tips and techniques that can help you enhance your brushing experience. However, depending on your current oral health situation, it is best to consult a dentist before implementing any techniques.

Before brushing your teeth:

  • Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles (may minimize gum irritation or tooth enamel damage).
  • Tooth powder may be an alternative to toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
  • Try using a stopwatch or play a song every time for 2 minutes worth of brushing.

How to brush your teeth properly:

1. Moisten the toothbrush.

2. Place a pea-sized amount, or a thin strip, of toothpaste on the bristle.

3. Keep in mind that when brushing, use short, gentle strokes.

4. Holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, clean outer surfaces of upper and lower teeth.

5. Brush the inner surfaces of the upper and lower teeth.

6. Follow by brushing the chewing surfaces.

7. Make sure bristles also roll over the gum line and around fillings.

8. Check any missed, hard-to-reach places.

9. Brush the tongue to remove bacteria buildup.

10. Gurgle and rinse the suds away.

Tips for after brushing:

  • Clean your toothbrush properly so no oral remnants remain.
  • Store your toothbrush in a well-ventilated area to prevent bacterial growth.
  • You may want to floss or use mouth wash to enhance oral cleanliness.
  • Swap your toothbrush monthly for a new one.

Benefits of Clean Teeth

Having clean teeth can help prevent decaying or premature loss of teeth. Some teeth related diseases and conditions that can be prevented include:

  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Tartar
  • Plaque buildup
  • Sensitive or painful teeth and gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gingivitis: buildup of bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces
  • Halitosis: also known as chronic "bad breath"
  • Periodontitis: inflammation of the gum that may lead to loss of teeth
  • Other gum diseases

Research has shown that poor dental hygiene has been linked to a higher chance of heart disease and shorter life expectancy, so be sure to brush your teeth!

It is important to have annual checkups and in-depth cleaning with your dentist to help your pearly whites stay healthy. Your dentist can also help you choose the best toothpaste suited for your oral condition. Remember that healthy teeth are not only an indication of good oral hygiene, but may also protect you from other medical conditions!

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