Tooth Brushing Tips

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Brushing your teeth regularly is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

Some say that the smile is the first feature that they notice in others. However, oral health is important in more ways that simply making an impression. Teeth are an important part of our overall well-being and as a result, it is important to familiarize yourself with proper brushing techniques.

  1. Materials

    • There are many types of tooth brushes available on the market today. Choose a nylon toothbrush with soft bristles, as opposed to medium or hard ones. The latter are often overly abrasive and may wear down your teeth. If your toothbrush is three-months-old or begins to show signs of wear, it is time to get a new one. An old or worn toothbrush will not clean your teeth sufficiently. Because a brush's bristles can retain germs, you should also replace your toothbrush after having a cold in order to prevent a relapse infection.

      While different toothpastes feature a myriad of various ingredients, the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that you choose one that contains fluoride, which provides protection against tooth decay. The use of fluoride can decrease bacterial count and reduce the occurrence of plaque, which may lead to gingivitis, which is an early but reversible form of gum disease. The ADA recommends that patients also supplement brushing with a fluoride mouth rinse.

    Technique

    • Divide your brushing routine into sections instead of attempting to tackle all areas of your mouth at once. First, work on the outer portion of the upper and lower teeth. Then, move to the inner surfaces of both jaws. Do not forget to brush all of the surfaces of the back teeth, which can often be difficult to reach. Next, concentrate on the chewing, or top, surfaces of both the upper and lower teeth. Finally, be sure to gently brush your tongue, which helps to remove bacteria and freshen your breath, and your gums.

      Proper brushing involves moving the brush in soft, short strokes. Position the brush in a way that it forms a 45 degree angle against the gum and move the brush in a circular motion away from the gum. You should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth. Consider using a stop watch or egg timer to ensure that you meet this minimum time requirement. Alternatively, you may wish to listen to the radio while brushing. Ideally, you should brush your teeth for the entire duration of one song.

    When to Brush

    • You should brush your teeth twice a day. However, a busy schedule can make remembering to brush difficult, especially at the workplace. Place sticky notes on your desk or on your handbag as a reminder to brush after lunch. Keep your toothpaste and toothbrush in an easily accessible place, for example your top desk drawer. If you visit the restroom during the work day to reapply makeup or to fix your hair, incorporate brushing your teeth into this freshening up routine.

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