Although you’ve been brushing your teeth for years, you might be surprised to find that you’re not doing it the right way. Dr. Angela S. Evanson, DDS, encourages proper brushing methods as part of preventative oral care treatment.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following steps for proper brushing and oral hygiene routines you should adopt to avoid oral health diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Brush Your Teeth (Gently) With Fluoride Toothpaste Twice a Day for Two Minutes
We all know that we are supposed to brush our teeth twice a day, but did you know you should brush your teeth for two minutes each time? This should be done in the morning and before bedtime using a soft bristled toothbrush.
Flossing should occur at least once a day, preferably at bedtime. This will prevent food residue that your toothbrush misses from remaining in the crevices of the teeth overnight. The combination of brushing and flossing could prevent the build-up of plaque, which is the main cause of tooth decay.
Proper Brushing Guidelines From the ADA
- Your toothbrush should be at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move it in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.
- Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth method.
- Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.
- Use the tip of the brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.
- Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.
- Rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash.
Clean Your Toothbrush Often
The ADA recommends that you rinse your toothbrush before and after every use and let it airdry completely in an upright position. Toothbrushes can harbor bacteria so you may want to sanitize your toothbrush periodically.
- Soak your toothbrush in three percent hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash to help reduce the bacteria. Immerse the bristles for about 15 minutes; any longer could damage them and a damaged toothbrush is not effective in cleaning your teeth.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that you not use your dishwasher or microwave to disinfect toothbrushes because the high heat could damage the bristles.
- If you are sick, take some preventive steps to guard against a germy toothbrush. You might consider using disposable toothbrushes until you are well.
Buy a New Toothbrush Every Three to Four Months
It’s important to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If you notice it looks matted or frayed, that’s a sign that your toothbrush needs to be replaced regardless of how old it is.
What Type of Toothbrush Should You Buy?
There is a lot of information available regarding the right toothbrush to buy. Knowing which one is right for you will require that you do your homework. Just be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance and avoid using hard toothbrushes as they can wear away the enamel of your teeth and damage the gum lining.
Regular Dental Appointments are Essential
Proper brushing and caring for your teeth in between regular dental visits twice a year are essential for your oral health. Dr. Evanson provides a broad spectrum of dental services for the whole family.
Call 720-409-0008 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Her office, in Parker, Colorado, also provides easy access to patients in the communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree.
Brushing and flossing are the best personal oral hygiene habits you can have to reduce your risk for oral health diseases, why not go the extra mile and brush the right way?Leave a reply →