Posted August 16, 2019
Most people think they do a good job of taking care of their oral health. After all, they usually brush their teeth once a day and often floss, too. But dentists recommend the following tips for brushing your teeth for better oral health.
Clean all tooth surfaces
Food particles can collect between your teeth and along the gum line. Mouth bacteria can feed on the particles and create plaque and lead to decay. When brushing, don’t just focus on the areas you can see. Make sure to brush the back and inside surfaces of your teeth next to the tongue. For a healthy mouth, clean all tooth surfaces.
Brush for 2 minutes
Dentists tells patients to follow the 2/2 rule to keep their teeth healthy: brush 2 minutes, twice a day, usually in the morning and before bedtime. Kids, and many adults, like to listen to a toothbrushing song to make brushing more fun.
Use an electric or manual toothbrush to clean your whole mouth. Start on the top teeth and spend 30 seconds brushing the outer tooth surfaces. Next, move to the inner surfaces, and brush for 30 seconds more. Repeat these same steps on the bottom teeth. Lastly, take a few more seconds to brush your tongue to remove bacteria.
Apply correct pressure and brush strokes
When brushing your teeth, don’t just move your toothbrush back and forth across your teeth. Instead, use gentle pressure and move the bristles in a circular motion around tooth surfaces and gums, on the outside and inside, and between teeth.
Pick a toothbrush with soft bristles
Some people believe they need a firm-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth thoroughly. However, stiff bristles can harm the gums, roots and tooth enamel. Instead, use a brush with soft bristles. Because the bristles are more flexible, it will be easy to gently clean tooth surfaces.
Buy toothpaste with fluoride
Brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride to kill bacteria and reduce the risk of developing decay. Avoid using toothpaste that feels gritty, as it can damage teeth and gums.
Use floss daily
Before or after brushing your teeth, gently floss between teeth, down to the gums, to dislodge food particles. Then rinse your mouth with a non-alcohol rinse to freshen breath.