Brushing your teeth is something you do multiple times a day. It's so perfunctory that you might even do it while you are making a cup of coffee in the morning or scrolling through your newsfeed one last time at night before getting into bed.
But just because you're going through the motions doesn't mean you're necessarily doing it the correct way. How do you know if you are effectively brushing your teeth? There is a right way, and several wrong ways, to take care of your mouth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a soft-bristle brush as opposed to a brush with hard bristles. If you are using a toothbrush with stiff bristles, it may actually be doing more damage than good.
Brushing your teeth too much, too vigorously, or with bristles that are too hard can wear away at your enamel. Enamel cannot be regrown, only fortified. So it is essential that you take care of your enamel. If it wears away too much, it will expose the soft underlayer of dentin. Dentin is extremely sensitive and painful when exposed.
No need to go into your mouth guns blazing. Your gums are soft, and as we mentioned before, you don't want to scrub too hard on your enamel. Brush gently and with care.
When brushing, move your toothbrush in a sweeping motion from your gumline to the tips of your teeth. This helps in two ways:
Your teeth are not the only part of your mouth that needs to be cleaned. Your tongue is made up entirely of soft tissue with tons of little nooks and crannies - the perfect place for bacteria to hide and grow. Not only will brushing your tongue help with your overall oral hygiene, but it can also get rid of that pesky bad breath.
Yes, flossing really is important. Brushing can only get so much done. It cleans the surfaces of your teeth and tongue, but it cannot reach between your teeth or underneath the gum line.
Flossing is critical for removing particles of food and bacteria in those hard-to-reach places. If left for too long, the residue left behind from not flossing can turn into calculus or tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing; it must be removed by your dentist.
Shore family dentistry is serving quality dental care to the Columbia, MD community, and we could not be happier about that. We know how hard it is to find a dentist that you trust and like. That's why we go out of our way to give you the best dental experience in the area. Get in touch today and let's talk about how we can help.
By Shore Family Dentistry
July 21, 2021