6 Ways to Take Better Care of Your Teeth

Elder Couple Reviewing dental X-ray with dentist

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 report that people need to work on their toothbrushing technique.

Here are six ways to take better care of your teeth

1. Clean all tooth surfaces – Food particles can collect between your teeth and along the gum line. If not removed, mouth bacteria will feed on the particles and create plaque, which can 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.

2. Brush for 2 minutes – 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. Finally, take a few more seconds to brush your tongue to remove bacteria.

3. Use correct pressure and strokes – Moving your toothbrush back and forth across your teeth can damage enamel. Instead, use gentle pressure and move the bristles in a circular motion around the tooth surfaces and gums, on the outside and inside, and between teeth.

4. Choose 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 bendable, it will be easy to clean tooth surfaces.

5. Use toothpaste with fluoride – Brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride to kill bacteria and reduce the risk of developing decay. Refrain from using toothpaste that feels gritty, as it can damage teeth and gums.

6. Floss daily – Before or after brushing your teeth, take a few more seconds to gently floss between teeth, down to the gums, to dislodge food particles. Then rinse out your mouth with a non-alcohol rinse to freshen breath and remove food and plaque particles.

Learn more tips for good oral care by reading these blogs:

Oral Health Foundation
Huffington Post

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