What is the correct way to brush your teeth?

used toothbrushesIn order to improve your oral health, one of the best lessons to learn is how to effectively brush your teeth. Even though most people brush their teeth at least one time a day, very few actually know the procedures necessary to keep your smile healthy and white.

Tooth brushing too hard and too fast are two of the most common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth. Make sure you choose a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles and concentrate on maintaining gentle contact with the teeth and gums while brushing. The brush should also be comfortable to hold easily and have a head small enough to reach every tooth without discomfort.

The angle you hold the toothbrush at is also very important. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle where the teeth meet the gums. Keep this angle consistent while gently brushing the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth two or three at a time.

Most people brush their teeth holding the brush straight on, but the 45 degree angle technique is far more effective at removing plaque and bacteria. Brush with a tight, circular motion.

The surfaces of the insides of front teeth need to be brushed differently. Tilt the brush behind the teeth and use short vertical strokes. As you work the brush up and down, only the front half of the brush will be used. The top surfaces of teeth, (where you chew) unlike the inner and outer, should be brushed straight on, with the brush bristles flush to the teeth. At this point a back and forth motion like soft scrubbing is effective at cleaning the teeth.

After finishing all your teeth, remember to brush your tongue. Gently scrub from back to front along the top surface of the tongue to help fight bad breath and contribute positively to overall dental health. Many people ignore this step entirely, however it helps a great deal.

The average brusher also spends far less time brushing than is recommended. You should always brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes. Most people find this difficult at first, but if you focus on two or three teeth at once it is quite easy to spend the correct amount of time. We recommend using a systematic approach, such as brushing your teeth in the same order every time. For some people, timing themselves is advised. Once you get used to how long it should take with the help of a timer, you’ll be better able to brush for that long on your own.

And finally, brushing alone is not enough–don’t forget to floss.

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