Brushing your teeth is important for many reasons. It can help keep your teeth free of tartar, and it can remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. If plaque is left unchecked, it can lead to problems like cavities, gum disease, and maybe even tooth loss.
Did you know that there’s a right way and a wrong way to care for your teeth? Here are some tips to keep in mind. If you need more guidance, Dr. Gill in Louisville, KY, will be glad to help you.
Why You Should Care For Your Teeth
Taking care of your teeth may sometimes seem like a hassle, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure you keep your teeth for a long, long time.
It’s just as important to know how to brush your teeth. If you don’t brush long enough or use a brush that is too stiff, you can also cause problems with your teeth and gums.
The Dangers Of Not Brushing At All
If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, bacteria can build up in the form of plaque. Brushing helps remove plaque and even keep it from forming in the first place.
The presence of plaque can tooth decay and gum disease. It can cause you to develop bad breath because the germs are allowed to multiply.
Your teeth can become stained and discolored from, for example, drinking coffee or soda. Not brushing lets the stains stay on your teeth.
If plaque is left unchecked, it turns into tartar. Tartar is harder and can only be removed by a dental professional.
If you neglect your teeth for too long, you’ll start losing them. There is also a connection between poor oral health and heart disease.
The Correct Way To Care For Your Teeth
To get and keep a healthy mouth, the American Dental Association recommends that you:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Use a soft-bristled brush that will allow you to reach all areas easily
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste.
The Proper Brushing Technique
To get the best results from brushing, you should angle your toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gums. Then:
- Put a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on your brush. You don’t need a lot.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes
- Brush the outside of your teeth as well as the backs. Also make sure you get the surfaces of your teeth where bacteria and decay are likely to settle.
- To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, hold your toothbrush vertically and make up and down strokes.
- Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper.
The recommended time for brushing your teeth is two minutes. Most people don’t come close to brushing that long. Use an egg timer or smartphone timing app to make sure you’re brushing for the whole two minutes.
Don’t Forget The Floss
There are some areas, particularly those between the teeth, where a brush can’t reach. This is why it’s important to floss daily.
Flossing can get the bacteria and food particles that brushing leaves behind.
What Not To Do
You might be tempted to choose a toothbrush with hard bristles, thinking that it would be better at removing stains, plaque, and stubborn bits of food. But sometimes force is not the answer. Using a too-hard brush can damage sensitive gum tissue and possibly the enamel on your teeth.
You wouldn’t use steel wool to clean your silverware because it could harm the surface. The enamel on your teeth is pretty tough but it can be harmed.
Another advantage to a soft toothbrush is that its bristles bend easier, which allows them to get into the crevices of your teeth. That lets you clean places where bacteria can hide.
Get Regular Checkups
Even if you’re fastidious about your oral health at home, you still need to see your dentist twice a year. At Natural Smiles, Louisville, KY, we can get any of the plaque and bacteria that you couldn’t get at home.
We can also look for any other dental issues that you might be having and nip them in the bud. To set up an appointment, call our office at 502-785-8695 or you can use our convenient online form to reach us.