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Posted on: December 30, 2020
Brush Up on the Benefits of Brushing
You’ve probably been brushing your teeth for years without thinking much about your technique. After all, brushing is something that you learned how to do as a small child, so it can’t be that difficult. While you may think that a small habit that you perform daily is an easy task, you might be surprised to learn that you may not be brushing your teeth in the correct manner. Utilizing proper brushing technique is one of the best ways that you can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and periodontitis. Continue reading to discover if you’ve been brushing your teeth correctly.
The Reason Why You Should Brush Your Teeth
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. This allows for you to have fresh smelling breath. It also allows for stains to be removed. More importantly, however, it also prevents tooth decay and serious gum disease from developing. Advanced stage gum disease (also known as periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It is linked to a number of health conditions including pneumonia, diabetes, heart disease and strokes. The good news is that it is an entirely preventable condition as are the linked conditions with proper health and dental care. All you have to do is see your dentist on a regular basis and brush your teeth using the proper techniques, which we will describe in detail below.
The Issues Caused by Plaque When Not Removed
Plaque is a sticky substance that sticks to the teeth. It is the cause behind issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque combines with the starches and sugars present in food and beverages and turns into an acid that attacks the enamel of your teeth. This is what causes cavities.
Plaque also leads to gum irritation and inflammation. Failing to remove plaque will lead to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. The symptoms of gingivitis are tender, red, swollen and bleeding gums. You’ll be happy to know that gingivitis is reversible. Failing to treat it leads to advanced gum disease, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. This causes pockets full of bacteria and pus to form and will eventually lead to the bone structure in your mouth being destroyed. This is what causes tooth loss in adults.
Tips for Proper Brushing Habits
You can avoid serious complications from tooth decay and gum disease via properly brushing your teeth and maintaining other oral health practices. While brushing your teeth regularly is a good thing, not utilizing proper technique can lead to issues with your both dental and overall health. The ADA recommends that you follow the below techniques to ensure that you’re brushing properly:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. If it is at all possible, the ADA recommends that you brush after every meal so that you can immediately eliminate the bacteria and plaque present in your mouth. However, when possible, it is better to wait 30 minutes to an hour to avoid damaging the tooth enamel.
- Make sure you’re reaching all of your teeth. You should also be sure to brush teeth even if they feel sensitive. If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in any area of your mouth while you are brushing, you should contact a dentist in Union as soon as possible.
- Use the correct toothbrush. It should have soft bristles. It should also be firm so that it can properly remove plaque while also being soft enough to avoid damaging the gums and teeth. You might want to try using a battery-operated or electric toothbrush, as studies have shown that these remove plaque better than manual toothbrushes.
- Select a toothpaste that has been approved by the ADA to ensure you are protecting your teeth appropriately.
- Use the quadrant technique to brush. Break your mouth into different areas and focus on each area for 30 seconds, being sure to get the inside, outside and bottom of the teeth. Place your toothbrush at a slight angle and use gentle back-and-forth movements. Remember to brush your tongue.
- A gentle circular movement with the brush is best, as it reduces your risk of wearing down the teeth and gums.
- The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes so that the food particles and bacteria present can be removed.
- Clean your toothbrush after every use. You should rinse it in water thoroughly, then store it upright to air-dry. Don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container, as this can encourage bacteria to grow on the toothbrush.
- Replace your toothbrush once every three months, unless the bristles start to look worn. Once the bristles look worn out, you should replace your toothbrush regardless if three months have passed. You should also make sure to change your toothbrush after an illness or infection.
- Floss every single day. This ensures that bacteria and food particles are removed from the places where your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Rinse out your mouth after you’ve brushed and flossed. Use a mouthwash that has been approved by the ADA so that you can eliminate bacteria and plaque left behind.
- It doesn’t matter if you brush before you floss or floss after you brush.
- Schedule visits with your dentist for every six months. This allows for your dentist to perform regular checkups and cleanings. It will also give your dentist a chance to catch any developing oral health issues early on when they are easier to treat.
Brush Your Way to Healthy Teeth and Gums
Properly brushing your teeth is the best way to ensure that you keep your mouth in excellent health. Although you’ve probably been brushing your teeth for most of your life, this review of proper technique can help you to further ensure that your teeth stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. While brushing will keep your oral health in shape, proper brushing will keep your dental health in the best possible condition. If you want your smile to remain in the best of health, be sure that you are brushing and flossing properly.