Written by: Richard Phillips, RDH, BAS
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, every morning and every night. Proper brushing is a great way to keep bacteria away and decreases the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Don’t forget to floss. Flossing, or cleaning between your teeth, removes plaque that can build up and lead to cavities or gum disease, leading to more health problems later in life. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every 3 months and always use a soft bristle toothbrush or consult with your dental hygienist to determine which toothbrush is best for you. Toothbrushes become worn out over time and can lead to premature gum loss and swollen gums.
Four Steps for Proper Brushing:
- Get the right angle – make sure you tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle
- Gently move your toothbrush back and forth, or in circular motions but be sure you are not too rough.
- Cover all surfaces of your mouth including inside, outside, top, and bottom.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well. A lot of bacteria live on your tongue, so brushing your tongue help get rid of the bacteria and leave you with fresher breath!
After brushing and flossing you should always use a mouthwash. This will help keep your mouth clean and improve your breath, especially after waking up with that dreaded morning breath.
Healthy food choices also help prevent tooth decay. Eating sugary or acidic foods and drinking sugary or acidic drinks can lead to tooth decay as well as an unhealthy lifestyle. Keep your teeth healthy by making smart healthy food or drink choices and avoiding those items that contain lots of sugar or acid.
Lastly, routine dental visits with exams, x-rays, and dental cleanings will help you keep a healthy and happy mouth. Prevention of oral disease is the best way to keeping your mouth pain free and always smiling. So give your dental office a call and make sure you see your dental hygienist twice per year for your dental cleanings.