You hope that just about everybody brushes their teeth, but only one in ten people are doing it effectively!
To that, we have to say a great big “YUCK!!” Imagine if only ten percent of the population showered correctly. That would be pretty gross. But according to researchers at The University of Gothenburg, ninety percent of the population does not brush their teeth in the right way!
Don’t worry!! Your friends at Dillon Family Dentistry are here to help you. So sit back and open wide as we present….
The Top Eight Tooth brushing Tips!
1. As covered in the Presidential Debates, Size Matters!
Many people use a large toothbrush head thinking “the bigger the better.” But you can brush just as effectively if not more so with a smaller brush, especially if you have to strain your mouth to use a larger one.
According to dental consumer advisor Dr. Dick Price, “the more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly.”
2. It’s good to be a Softee!
It would seem to make sense that firmer bristles would clean your teeth better, but many times they just wind up damaging your sensitive gum tissue. The American Dental Association recommends a soft-bristled brush and we agree!
But, it’s important that you are not too much of a softy when it comes to brushing. I find it infinitely more common that patients are pussy-footing around too much rather than brushing too hard. My dad had patients scrubbing with hard bristled toothbrushes and they didn’t wear their tooth structure away or injure their gums.
3. Be a patient patient!
While most people spend fifteen seconds or so per round of brushing, a full two minutes is best. And to make sure you don’t play favorites you should start in one corner of your mouth on the top and carefully spend time on each tooth at the gumline and between the teeth. Then, you should go around to the other side and then do the same thing for the insides of those teeth and then repeat on the bottom teeth. You’ll find this is very difficult to do in less than a minute. This will not only reduce your chances of getting cavities, but periodontal disease as well.
Some electric toothbrushes actually have timers, but you don’t need to be so fancy. Find a thirty second song and sing it to yourself for each mouth quarter. Or multitask by watching TV until the full two minutes is up.
4. What’s Your Angle?
While we typically picture tooth brushing to be a horizontal affair, that leaves out many important tooth surfaces including the crucial area where the tooth meets the gum line. Aim your bristles at a forty-five degree angle and make sure they gently dip below the outer surface of your gums. That little pocket in your gums should be your main focus brushing.
5. Timing is Everything
What’s totally common is for someone to tell me that they brush when they wake up in the morning and then right before they go to sleep. These are the two worst times to brush. You want to reduce how long food is on your teeth and gums. Brushing after breakfast and right after the last thing you have to eat will be much more effective for you.
After you brush, loose bacteria are floating around in your mouth having a big old party. It’s time to finish them up with a rinse of mouthwash or even water. They’re on your toothbrush too, so it’s always a good idea to run that under the sink for a few seconds when you finish!
7. It’s a Team Sport
I still brush my 8 year old daughter’s teeth most nights. It’s mostly a fun thing now, but you want to monitor and make sure your kids have the ability to do a competent job. The same is said for the aging members of our families. Not only do they have less dexterity and poorer vision, but they have a reduced ability to clear off their teeth after eating routinely, and no one needs to have dental problems in the twilight years.
8. And There’s One More Thing…..
Even though we are discussing toothbrushing, it just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning those tooth surfaces between your teeth – the ones that can’t be reached with a brush. Yes, that’s right – we all need to floss!! Daily flossing prevents cavities and helps to keep your gums in good shape.
At Dillon Family Dentistry, we want you to have strong healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath and a beautiful smile!! Please call us now at 610-525-5497 to schedule an appointment, ask any questions about keeping your teeth and gums nice and clean, or even to schedule a complimentary toothbrushing and flossing lesson! We are here for you!