Are You Properly Brushing Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth is the single best thing you can do to maintain good oral health. Indeed, to achieve and maintain excellent oral hygiene, it’s crucial that you’re consistently, and properly brushing your teeth. To ensure you’re doing all you can to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful, all the while helping to safeguard your overall health, read on for best practices. 

Teeth Brushing Technique

Thoroughly removing plaque from the teeth requires proper technique when brushing. To best reach all areas of the teeth, begin by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.  Then begin moving the brush back and forth in short strokes over each tooth. Make sure to pay particular attention to the area at your gum line, as plaque tends to accumulate there.

 

 Be sure to brush the outside of the teeth, the inside of the teeth, along with the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. To keep your breath fresh, finish by brushing your tongue. 

Teeth Brushing Frequency 

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice daily. However, you can certainly benefit from brushing more frequently. Brushing your teeth after meals is ideal for removing plaque that begins to form after you eat. If you’re unable to brush after each meal, rinsing your teeth with water after a meal is also a great way to remove some of the sugars and acids that mix with saliva to form plaque.  

Duration

To thoroughly clean the outer surface, inner surface, and chewing surfaces of the teeth, you should spend two full minutes brushing your teeth. To ensure you’re brushing for a full two minutes it may be helpful to set a timer on your phone.  

 

If you’re brushing for less than two minutes, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to remove 26% more plaque than if you only brush for 45 seconds, according to a comprehensive study

 

Flossing: Why Brushing Alone isn’t Enough

Even if you have excellent teeth brushing technique, and follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation to brush at least twice daily for a full two minutes, you’ll still need to floss. Brushing your teeth will not remove the plaque that accumulates between the teeth.  Daily flossing helps remove bits of food and debris in the mouth that leads to tooth decay. 

 

Options for flossing include dental floss, dental tape, or a water flosser. All are effective at removing food and plaque from between the teeth.

Frequent Professional Dental Cleanings Promote Good Oral Health

The final steps in achieving and maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile are regular dental cleanings. Professional cleanings remove the plaque that can’t be removed at home.  Professional cleanings also include dental exams, so that any potential problems can be caught and treated early. Regular preventive dental care can save you time, money, and potential pain, ensuring a healthy mouth for years to come. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Brushing Your Teeth 

What type of toothpaste should I use?

We recommend non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste. Although toothpastes that contain abrasive agents such as charcoal or baking soda are fine to use on occasion, we recommend you limit their use to prevent enamel erosion.

 

What type of toothbrush should I use?

Many people prefer electric toothbrushes, and there is some evidence they may be more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes. However, the type of toothbrush you use is less important than consistent and proper brushing techniques.

 

Schedule a Dental Cleaning in Lubbock or Snyder, TX

If it’s been six months or longer since your last dental check-up and cleaning, it’s time to schedule your appointment.  To best serve our patients, Robinson and Malone Dentistry has two offices in Lubbock and Snyder, TX.  Book your appointment today.