Healthy Teeth: 9 Simple Tips To Brush And Floss The Right Way
Posted Aug 10, 2017
by Dr. Sophie Chung
CEO & Founder
Are you taking care of your oral hygiene the right way? Maintaining good oral hygiene doesn’t end with brushing your teeth every morning and night. Having the right tools in your cabinet and brushing properly will help you achieve thorough oral care and hygiene. Keeping your teeth healthy will help you prevent dental problems like tooth decay, crown issues, the formation of plaque and tartar, and in general, keep your visits to your dentist to a minimum.
Find below a list of tips that we have compiled to help you keep your smile dazzling and healthy!
1. Use Proper Brushing Technique
Brush your teeth twice a day and for at least two minutes each time. Unsure of how to keep timing? Take a song you like that lasts between 2 and 2:30 minutes and brush along with it: you will get the timing just right and have fun while brushing!
Keep your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle pointed towards your gumline, and apply short, gentle back and forth strokes across the sides and on tops of your teeth. Clean the back teeth by placing the toothbrush vertically and repeat with gentle, short strokes.
2. Brush at the Right Time
As mentioned earlier, it is recommended you brush your teeth twice a day. But when is the right time to do it? We’ve been told since we were kids to brush our teeth after every meal. Turns out things are a little more complicated than that. When you eat and drink, the enamel of your teeth can soften temporarily and brushing your teeth right after may accidentally erode the enamel. After one hour, your saliva will have neutralized the acid content and the enamel returned to its normal strength. So as a general rule of thumb, brush your teeth before having breakfast or one hour after eating. Same applies at night: make sure brushing teeth is the last thing you do before going to bed but wait one hour before brushing.
3. Floss Properly
Flossing is a crucial step for your oral health. Floss once per day after brushing, possibly before going to bed. Take a piece of floss and wrap the ends around one finger on each hand and gently rub each tooth up and down. Try to follow the curve of your teeth and be as gentle as possible. Don’t forget to floss your back teeth, too!
4. Pick the Right Brush
Your dentist will suggest the right toothbrush according to your individual needs, but soft-bristled toothbrushes are usually recommended. Make sure you also choose the right shape and size that best sits into your mouth and feels comfortable when brushing; your brush should be small and flexible enough to reach your teeth in the very back of your mouth. You may also want to consider using an electric toothbrush: they have been found to remove twice as much plaque compared to manual brushing.
5. Clean Your Brush
The best way to keep your brush clean is to rinse it with water after use and let it air dry. Dentists suggest not to cover it as it can breed new bacteria. Do not share your toothbrush with anyone.
6. Change Your Brush
Bristles deteriorate with time and usage, so make sure you protect your oral health by changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
7. Use a Mouthwash
Use a mouthwash after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth. Wash your mouth with mouthwash for 30-40 seconds and then spit it out. Do not wash your mouth with water afterwards.
8. Clean Your Tongue
Many people forget this essential step during their oral care routine, but also your tongue needs to be cleaned to avoid any bacteria to remain and build up in your mouth. Put a bit of toothpaste on your brush and apply circular movements on your tongue and then rinse it with water. Alternatively, you can also take a piece of floss and use it to gently clean the tongue. Tongue scrapers are also common and they work similarly to flossing: take the ends of the scraper and gently scrape and clean your tongue. Rinse afterwards.
9. Avoid Snacking Before Bedtime
Make sure you do not eat anything after you’ve brushed your teeth at night. This way, you’ll avoid any bacteria, food particles, and sugar to remain on your teeth overnight.
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