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Brush Up on the Benefits of Brushing

One of the most overlooked elements of dental health care is proper brushing technique. Many people are so used to brushing their teeth that they begin using incorrect techniques, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Refreshing yourself on the basics of proper brushing technique can help you to assess whether you need to work more on the way that you are brushing. After all, you want to make sure that you are maximizing the few minutes you spend brushing your teeth every day so that your smile stays bright and healthy.

It’s Important to Brush Your Teeth

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day. This keeps your breath fresh, prevents stains and also helps to avoid serious gum disease and tooth decay. Advanced gum disease is the primary cause of early tooth loss in adults. It is also linked to a variety of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia and strokes. While visiting your dentist on a regular basis is an important aspect of preventing advanced gum disease, you should also properly brush your teeth on a consistent basis in order to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and periodontitis.

How Plaque Leads to Dental Problems

The cause of both tooth decay and gum disease is plaque. This sticky material forms on the surface of the teeth whenever you eat or drink. It combines with the starches and sugars present in your food or beverage and creates an acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel. This is what leads to tooth decay. Plaque is also the cause of gum irritation and inflammation. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. Its symptoms are red, bleeding, swollen and tender gums.

This condition is easily reversible if it is treated early on. If left untreated, it will pull the gums away from the teeth and create pockets that are full of bacteria and pus. Leaving gingivitis untreated will eventually lead to periodontitis. This advanced form of gum disease will break down the bone structure that supports the teeth, leading to tooth loss.

Proper Brushing Habits for Healthy Teeth

Dentists all around the world will tell you about the importance of developing proper brushing technique in order to ensure excellent oral health. Not only should you brush your teeth regularly, but you should also do it in the correct way. The ADA recommends that you use the following techniques in order to experience the full benefits of brushing your teeth:

  • Brush regularly. At the minimum, your teeth should be brushed at least twice every day for a period of around two minutes. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal so that the bacteria and acids that lead to tooth decay are minimized to the fullest extent possible. If possible, the ADA recommends waiting at least 30 minutes to one hour in order to avoid damaging your tooth enamel. If it’s not possible to wait that long, try rinsing your mouth with water quickly.
  • Brush all of the teeth. This includes sensitive teeth and those that are located in hard-to-reach areas. If you are experiencing pain when brushing your teeth, contact a dentist in Florida so that you can be diagnosed and treated appropriately.
  • Select the right toothbrush. The best toothbrush is one with soft bristles that fits within your mouth comfortably. It should be both firm enough to reduce plaque and soft enough to not damage your gums and teeth. Many dentists suggest that their patients utilize a battery-operated or electric toothbrush, as research has shown that they reduce plaque better than a manual toothbrush does.
  • Choose the right toothpaste. There are all kinds of toothpastes available. Whichever one you choose, check to make sure that it has the ADA seal of approval on it.
  • Utilize the correct technique. You should divide your mouth into four areas and focus on each area for a minimum of 30 seconds. While brushing, you should brush gently with small back-and-forth movements. Be sure to get all areas of your teeth – inside, outside and the bottom.
  • Brush gently in a circular motion. Vigorously brushing up and down causes unhealthy wear and tear on your teeth and the gums.
  • The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth for a period of at least two minutes. This ensures that you have time to remove the maximum amount of plaque, bacteria and food particles from your mouth.
  • Don’t neglect to clean your toothbrush. It should be rinsed with water after you’ve finished brushing. You should then leave it to air-dry in an upright position. Don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in an enclosed container, as that can lead to bacteria growing on it.
  • Replace your toothbrush on a regular basis. No matter what kind of toothbrush you use, you should change it out every three months or whenever the bristles have become worn – whichever one comes first.
  • Since there are places that your toothbrush will never be able to reach, you should be sure to floss every day. This gets rid of the plaque and food particles that collect in those impossible to reach areas.
  • Utilize a mouthwash to rinse out your mouth after you’ve brushed. This further eliminates bacteria and germs that might still be in your mouth after brushing and flossing. Be sure to choose a mouth rinse that has been certified by the ADA.
  • You can floss before brushing or do it after you’ve brushed your teeth. The order doesn’t really matter, making sure you floss is the most important thing.
  • Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Most dentists suggest that you come in for routine checkups and cleanings every six months.

Brush Your Way to Excellent Oral Health

While you may not have been aware of the importance of utilizing proper technique when it comes to brushing your teeth, it’s a skill that will make a significant difference in your overall oral health. Proper brushing technique helps you to keep your mouth in top-notch shape. It ensures your smile will look and feel great for a lifetime.

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