How to Properly Brush Your Teeth

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Remember to Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

From the moment your baby teeth started growing in, you have been reminded time and time again about the importance of brushing your teeth. After all, your teeth play a vital role in not just the health of your mouth but your entire body. Your teeth help you eat food and help you create the sounds needed to speak properly. Not only that, but your teeth and your self-esteem share a close bond. More than half of Americans feel insecure about their teeth. One of the greatest ways to keep your teeth healthy and make sure your smile is one you can be proud of is by regularly brushing your teeth. At a young age, your parents brush your teeth for you until you are ready to brush them on your own. However, are you sure you are brushing your teeth correctly?

Most people have a general idea of how they should brush their teeth, but far too many people continue to do the wrong thing. They might not brush long enough, or they brush too hard. Even if you regularly brush your teeth, doing it wrong can lead to negative results, such as bloody gums. There are several mistakes people all across the world constantly make.

At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, we understand the importance of good oral hygiene. And that starts with brushing your teeth. Today, we are going to go over how to properly brush your teeth and discussing some of the common mistakes people make.

Common Mistakes

Even though brushing your teeth seems easy to do, many fail to brush as well as they could. Many people make several mistakes that could be preventing them from taking the best care of their mouths. However, these mistakes can be corrected. Some of the most common mistakes include:

Brushing Too Hard:

When brushing your teeth, harder is not better. In fact, when you brush your teeth too hard, you wear away at the enamel on your teeth. Plaque, the bacteria-filled build-up on your teeth, is soft and loose, so there is no need to scrub hard. 

Being in a Rush:  

You should be aware that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. However, people are often in a rush, mainly because they are running late or they’re ready to go to bed. Unfortunately, rushing cuts your brushing time short. Don’t. Pull out a time or your phone to time you to make sure you are brushing for two minutes.

Using an Old Toothbrush: 

Another issue occurs when you continue to use a toothbrush with worn down bristles. When your bristles become discolored, bent, dirty looking, or frayed, you should replace it. Once the bristles fray, it loses its power. Even if you are not brushing hard and are brushing for two minutes, you aren’t cleaning your teeth well. A good rule of thumb is to replace your brush every three to four months.

Brushing Back and Forth:

This is a common mistake most people make. They brush back and forth, left to right. Instead of scrubbing, think of massaging your teeth. Start at your gum then go up and down in a circular motion. Brushing in an up and down circular motion helps you remove plaque and tartar efficiently and safely.

Forgetting the Gumline: 

Speaking of your gums, people miss the area where your gums meet your teeth, also known as the gumline. Bacteria often build up along this area, so you should be regularly brushing here. You can do this by turning your brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line, brushing up and down. Remember to do the same on the tongues-side of your mouth, as well. Most people spend too much time brushing the chewing surface, so don’t forget your gumline.

Electric Toothbrushes 

Before we get into how to brush your teeth, we should discuss electric toothbrushes. Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque from our teeth, preventing decay and disease. However, as technology improves, more people turn to electronic toothbrushes. Some benefits of these toothbrushes include:

  • More Effective at Removing Plaque: A study found that after three months of use, plaque was reduced by 21% and gingivitis by 11% when using a powered toothbrush.
  • Easier for People with Mobility Issues: Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you, so people with arthritis or carpal tunnel can effectively clean their teeth.
  • Brush Longer: Most electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that ensures you brush for the recommended two minutes.
  • Improves Focus: One study found that people were more focused on brushing their teeth when using an electric toothbrush, improving their oral hygiene.
  • Safe for Gums: An issue with manual toothbrushes is that people often brush too hard with them, which threatens your gums. Electronic toothbrushes do not hurt your gums.

While they are more expensive, they are a useful option for brushing your teeth. However, manual toothbrushes are more accessible and affordable, while still effectively cleaning your teeth.

How to Brush Your Teeth 

Brushing your teeth is an easy thing to do. All you need to get started is a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Also, to improve the health of your teeth, you should floss and rinse your mouth with mouthwash once a day. The entire process should take just two minutes to ensure you hit all the necessary spots. Use a timer or a timed electric toothbrush.

  1. Get your toothbrush wet with some water. Then put a pea-size amount of toothpaste on the head of your toothbrush.
  2. Using a 45-degree angle, use gentle, short up and down strokes along the gums to brush your front teeth.
  3. Using a circular up and down motion, brush the outside surfaces of your teeth. Do not forget the back molars or the upper areas of chewing surfaces.
  4. Use the same circular gentle motions on the inside of the teeth.
  5. Brush the inside surface of your front teeth, both top and bottom, by flipping it upside and back again, brushing with the tip of the brush.
  6. You should also get in the habit of brushing your tongue to get rid of any bacteria buildup or plaque.
  7. Spit out the remaining toothpaste, saliva, water, and debris into the sink. Finish by rinsing your mouth with cold water.

At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, we understand the importance of caring for your teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily, you are doing your part to care for your teeth. However, getting your regular dental cleaning is also a crucial way to keep your mouth healthy. To schedule your next cleaning, give us a call today.