Take Care of Your Teeth
Feb. 13, 2015
February is National Children's Dental Health Month, so we are making sure that all the kiddos (and even adults) are equipped with the best toothbrushing techniques.
What is the right way to brush?
Always remember this: 2 X 2, brush your teeth two times a day for a total of two minutes each time.
Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
- On the outer and inner surfaces, brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle in short half-tooth-wide strokes against the gumline
- On inside surfaces of front teeth, tilt brush vertically and use gentle up and down strokes with the toe of brush
- On chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth
- Brush the tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and freshen your mouth
What type of toothbrush should I use?
Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you've had a cold since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.
How important is the toothpaste I use?
It is important that you use toothpaste that's right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpaste designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist which toothpaste is right for you.
Brushing your teeth is an absolute must when it comes to your dental care routine, but also consider the following:
- Clean between teeth daily with floss. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gumline
- Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams