One of the most common and important parts of dental care is brushing your teeth. 2 – 3 times a day we stare in the mirror and suds up our mouths with toothpaste in an effort to keep our pearly whites clean. What a lot of people don’t know is there is a standard for proper dental care, if you want to get the best benefit from brushing your teeth. Fear not, because we are here to help.
First things first, you should know that brushing more than just once a day is important because it helps in reducing the possibility of cavities. You should also know that replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is ideal, because a worn toothbrush is not effective in helping you keep your teeth clean. Why else is it important to brush at least twice a day? Here’s why, after eating breakfast, lunch or dinner a sticky substance made from leftover food particles, bacteria, carbohydrates and saliva starts to form. This mixture is called Plaque and it’s one of your mouth’s greatest enemies. The act of brushing can easily remove plaque if done in a timely manner. Plaque forms and sticks on your teeth, and once it’s there you have a limited time to remove it before it starts to harden. That’s right, this soft sticky substance starts to harden in about 2 hours after eating. Most plaque completely hardens within 2—7 days and it can become so hard that it is almost impossible for you to remove it on your own. Brushing at least twice a day helps to break up the plaque hardening process. Plaque leads to cavities and untreated cavities lead to root canal therapy or extractions.
We’ve talked about why you should brush your teeth, so now let’s talk about how you should brush them. You should brush for at least two minutes and spend 30 seconds in each section. The sections include: upper right, lower right, upper left and lower left. Use a soft bristle toothbrush, because anything harder than that can cause damage to your teeth and gums. You should apply moderate pressure when brushing and make small circles at a 45-degree angle with the toothbrush as you move across the teeth. The goal is to clean all sides of each tooth including the area where the gums meet the tooth. Brushing your teeth is only one part of your oral healthcare routine, remember plaque can harden between the teeth as well, so don’t forget to floss.