Many of our patients feel like they have a pretty good grasp on teeth brushing. Most of us begin brushing our own teeth between the ages of 3-5, so we’d like to think we know what we’re doing. However, there’s a good chance most of us haven’t reevaluated our teeth brushing habits until the day we learned to do it ourselves!
At different ages and stages of our lives, our teeth require different kinds of care. Because brushing our teeth is perhaps the most important part of any oral hygiene routine, it’s essential that you know how to update these habits to accommodate the needs of your teeth.
Below we’ve put together a few of the basics to help you brush up on your brushing basics:
- Check Your Brush – First things first – assess your equipment! Your toothbrush should be medium or soft-bristled, so as not to do any damage to your gums. Your toothbrush should be approved by the American Dental Association, which means it’s undergone rigorous testing to make sure it will clean your teeth properly. Lastly, your toothbrush shouldn’t be older than 6 months, as the bristles will begin to fray and bacteria will start to build up. If your toothbrush doesn’t fit all of these requirements, toss it out and grab a new one! If you prefer a mechanical toothbrush, make sure to buy one with replaceable heads so you don’t have to purchase a whole new brush every 6 months.
- Twice A Day – The American Dental Association has recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day – in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before bed. However, choosing to brush your teeth after lunch is a good idea as well, just to prevent any food debris from staying in your mouth for too long.
- Two Minutes Each Time – If you’re spending less than two minutes brushing your teeth, there’s a good chance you aren’t thoroughly cleaning each tooth. If it helps, you can use a timer on your phone, hum the length of a song, or brush through an entire commercial break when watching TV. As long as you’re brushing for at least two minutes a time, use whatever trick will work for you!
- Be Gentle – To avoid damage to your gums or even gum recession, please be gentle when you brush your teeth. A good way to make sure you’re not being too rough is to hold the brush with only 2 or 3 fingers, like holding a pencil. This will help you get in the habit of being gentle.
For more great tips on caring for your teeth, or to make an appointment, please contact Summit Smiles Dental, located in Aurora, CO!