Almost 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. Size Matters!
Many people use 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. Richard 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 Softy!
It would seem to make 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!
3. Don’t Do A Rush Job!
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, divide your mouth into four sections (upper right, lower right, etc.) and spend thirty seconds on each.
I actually recommend a surgical assault on your teeth, starting up in one corner brushing all the way around to the other side and then go back and get the same teeth from the inside. Then, you repeat the same thing on the bottom teeth.
Some electric toothbrushes actually have timers, but you don’t need to be 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 fourth-five degree angle and make sure they gently dip below the outer surface of your gums.
If your focus is scrubbing the gumline very well you will accidentally clean the rest of the tooth, but probably not visa-versa. This can get very tricky, and we recommend that you have one of the fantastic members of our dental hygiene team give you a full demonstration.
5. It’s An Inside Job!
The inner surfaces of the teeth are often overlooked, but just because they hide from daylight, doesn’t mean you should neglect them! Take the time to brush all tooth surfaces, inside and out! Oh – don’t forget your tongue!
After you brush, loose bacteria are floating around in your mouth having a big old party. It’s time to finish them up with rinse of mouthwash or even water. They are on your toothbrush too, so it’s always a good idea to run that under the faucet for a few seconds when you finish!
7. Forced Retirement
Many people get nostalgic over their old toothbrushes, but keeping them for too long is a big mistake! Frayed bristles can’t clean correctly, and even worse – they harbor all kinds of nasty germs. The American Dental Association suggests changing your toothbrush every three to four month – but we think that may even be too long of an interval for many. When in doubt – toss it out!
8. And There’s One More Thing…
Even though we are discussing tooth brushing, 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 keeps the dentist away by preventing cavities and helps to keep your gums in good shape.
As a dentist in Bryn Mawr, PA, we want you to have strong healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath and a beautiful smile! Please call us now at 610 510-8197 to schedule an appointment at our dental office, ask any question about keeping your teeth and gums nice and clean, or even schedule a complimentary tooth brushing and flossing lesson! We are here for you in Bryn Mawr and beyond!