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Posted on: January 25, 2021
How to Properly Care for Your Teeth
How often do you really think about the movements you’re making when you brush your teeth? If you’re like most people, you’ve been brushing your teeth for so long that it’s become just another part of your daily routine, so you probably don’t think carefully about what you’re doing. Even if you brush and floss every day, you might not be enjoying all of the benefits these practices provide if you’re not performing them correctly. Make sure you get the most from daily brushing and flossing by revisiting the most effective ways to take care of your oral health.
The Importance of Brushing Your Teeth
In addition to keeping your breath fresh and preventing stains, brushing your teeth every day is one of the most effective ways to prevent many common dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontal disease. Tooth sensitivity, pain when you bite down, and tooth pain are some of the earliest signs that you might have a cavity. As tooth decay worsens, the nerve of the tooth can be affected. If this occurs, you might need a root canal to save the tooth.
Gum disease and periodontal disease can also occur if you don’t properly brush and floss, and these diseases are linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia. Periodontal disease can cause tooth loss if not diagnosed and treated early. The good news is that you can greatly reduce your risk of suffering from tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontal disease if you properly brush and floss your teeth each day.
How Plaque Harms Your Teeth
You might be surprised to learn that there is a sticky film that’s constantly forming on your teeth. This substance is called plaque, and it contains tons of bacteria. It’s often colorless, although it can also be pale yellow in color. Plaque develops on your teeth when foods and drinks containing sugar and starch aren’t properly removed from your teeth. The bacteria found in your mouth thrive on these sugars and starches, producing acids as a result. Over time, these acids can destroy your tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.
Maintaining a consistent brushing and flossing schedule removes plaque, but if it’s not removed every day, it can harden into tartar. This substance is yellow in color and is very difficult to remove on your own since it’s strongly attached to the enamel of your teeth. The longer tartar and plaque stay on your teeth, the more likely they are to irritate your gum tissue. This causes an inflammatory response that creates red, swollen gums. Your teeth may also bleed when you brush and floss. These symptoms are consistent with gingivitis, which can be treated and reversed with early treatment.
Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis when not treated as soon as possible. Periodontitis is very serious and can cause pockets of bacteria to form as your gum tissue separates from your teeth. If you have advanced periodontitis, you’re at risk of tooth loss.
Do You Know How to Properly Brush Your Teeth?
Now that you know about the benefits of brushing your teeth and how it can prevent the development of tartar and plaque, it’s time to learn more about the proper ways to brush and floss. With these recommendations from our dentists and the American Dental Association (ADA), you can perfect your oral health routine and improve the health of your mouth.
Learn the Proper Technique for Brushing
Tilt your toothbrush at about a 45-degree angle and use short strokes while brushing in a circular direction. Make sure to brush gently so you don’t irritate your gum tissue. Keep the bristles angled against your gumline as you carefully brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Finish off by brushing the surface of your tongue to remove any bacteria buildup. Rinsing with mouthwash can remove any remaining debris or food particles.
Use a Soft-bristled Toothbrush
A toothbrush with soft bristles is best for teeth and is very effective at removing plaque and debris. A toothbrush with stiff bristles might be too rough for your gums and tooth enamel and may cause damage. Small-headed toothbrushes are a better choice since they allow you to reach all areas of your mouth, even hard-to-reach back teeth.
Brush Every Day
For optimum dental health, try to brush your teeth twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening. Aim for brushing your teeth for at least two minutes each time. Brushing your teeth shortly after eating is also ideal since you’ll get rid of bacteria and food particles before they have a chance to attack your tooth enamel. If you can’t brush after a meal, try rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash.
Choose the Correct Toothpaste
When picking out toothpaste, make sure that it contains fluoride and is approved by the ADA. There are many varieties to choose from, such as whitening, sensitivity protection, and tartar control. If you’re having difficulty finding a toothpaste, ask your dentist about which is the right toothpaste for you.
Care for Your Toothbrush
Rinse your toothbrush with water every time you’re done brushing. This helps remove any remaining food particles and bacteria. You should also stand your toothbrush upright so it can air dry. Replace your toothbrush at least every three months, whenever you notice frayed bristles or signs of wear or after you’ve been sick.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing once a day is an important task that can help remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and gumline. Not flossing every day can promote the development of plaque and bacteria between your teeth, leading to decay and cavities. You want to avoid costly cavities at all costs.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Scheduling an appointment every six months for a dental cleaning and exam is also an important part of maintaining good oral health. During your appointment, our team can provide you with more information about proper brushing and flossing habits.