When it comes to ensuring lifelong oral health, you will need to commit to regular oral hygiene. This oral hygiene routine includes regular dental appointments for an examination and professional cleaning, as well as practicing good oral health care at home with regular brushing and flossing.
Thorough teeth brushing is important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. It helps to remove bacteria that can cause tooth decay and plaque that can cause gum disease.
Here is a breakdown of the proper brushing techniques for clean teeth and gums:
What is the proper brushing technique?
Clean every surface of every tooth in your mouth - the chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side.
Brush at a 45-degree angle in a sweeping motion. For the upper teeth, use a sweeping downward motion, and for lower teeth use a sweeping upward motion. Only brush back and forth on chewing surfaces.
When should you be brushing your teeth?
Ideally, you should brush after every meal but wait at least 30 minutes after your meal before brushing. At the very least, brush twice a day and always before you go to bed.
How long should you brush for?
Take your time, brushing should happen for two minutes but don't go over that time either. You can always try timing yourself to make sure your brushing routine is long enough.
What type of toothbrush should you use?
The ideal toothbrush will have soft bristles and a round brush head allowing you to easily work around the teeth at the back of your mouth.
There are many different brush shapes and sizes, so ask your dental professional to suggest the best one for you.
What are the consequences of not brushing?
Some people may think that brushing their teeth isn't all that important, but that is not true at all. There is a reason why every dental professional says that brushing should happen twice daily. Here’s a quick breakdown of what can happen when you stop brushing your teeth.
- Stained teeth - This is especially true if you drink coffee, wine, or smoke cigarettes.
- Tooth decay - If you don’t brush your teeth you get plaque that breaks down your tooth enamel. This will cause bad breath and eventually can cause major problems and require things like crowns and root canals.
- Gum disease - Also known as periodontal disease, this occurs when the bacteria in plaque cause swollen and bleeding gums.
- Long-term health problems - Periodontal disease is a likely outcome of not brushing one’s teeth, and periodontal disease has been associated with higher risks of kidney disease, dementia, and certain types of cancers.