What’s the Best Way to Brush My Teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, for about 2 minutes each time.
To brush properly:
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
- Move the brush gently back and forth in short strokes.
- Be sure to brush the entire surfaces of your teeth—the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, the chewing surfaces, and even the backs of those hard-to-reach molars.
- For the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt your brush vertically and brush with up-and-down strokes.
- Don’t brush too hard! Plaque only needs to be brushed gently to be removed, and too much force can hurt your enamel.
Some other important factors:
- Be sure to use a brush with soft bristles. Hard bristles can wear down your tooth enamel, causing it two weaken.
- You should replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
Here’s a video from the American Dental Association to show you how it’s done.
Caring for Your Toothbrush
Brushing and flossing properly is crucial to good oral health, but caring for your toothbrush is something that often goes overlooked, even though it’s important as well. If your toothbrush is not properly taken care of it can spread more germs into your mouth and not clean your teeth properly. For proper toothbrush care, be sure to keep the following in mind:
Rinse off the toothbrush
After you brush your teeth, make sure you rinse off your toothbrush completely with water. You should also allow it to air-dry. If you store your toothbrush in a container, the moisture can create an environment that allows microorganisms to grow.
Do not share your toothbrush
Sharing a toothbrush can lead to an increased risk of infection.
Replace your toothbrush
It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. The bristles become worn and less effective over time.
What Kind of Toothbrush Should I Use?
There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to toothbrushes, but the big question may come down to whether you should use an electric or a traditional toothbrush.
The short answer is that either type, when used with proper technique for the appropriate amount of time, can effectively clean your teeth. However, electric toothbrushes tend to make doing it properly a lot easier.
So, the real divider is ease.
With a manual brush, diligence is key. It is recommended that in order to maintain a healthy smile, brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day is key. Regular toothbrushes have the benefits of being inexpensive, travel-friendly, and don’t require batteries or to be charged before use.
Electric toothbrushes have gained popularity for their ability to do all of the work for the user. With the option of different style brush heads and modes, like whitening, sensitivity, and deep cleaning, it makes a thorough teeth cleaning simple. Some electric options are even equipped to time how long the user is spending brushing one area and alerts the user to move to a different quadrant through vibrations.
Additionally, electronic toothbrushes are ideal for those for whom brushing can be troublesome. For people with issues such as coordination problems, arthritis, orthodontic brackets, or gum disease, electric toothbrushes can make it easier for them to reach every area of their teeth. Children can benefit from electric toothbrushes as well, as kids find them more interesting and they help do some of the brushing for them.
The ADA suggests that the real deciding factor is the person doing the brushing (and how they brush) more than the toothbrush itself. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but for most people, an electric toothbrush can help make cleaning your teeth a little bit easier.