It may seem like a no-brainer, simply brushing your teeth with your toothbrush and toothpaste everyday. However, the way you are brushing your teeth can cause damage without you knowing it. Although it may seem like second nature to us, brushing our teeth the right way is a very crucial part dental hygiene and dental health. Brushing your teeth the wrong way and using the wrong way can cause abrasion, which could lead to your teeth being worn away and exposed to cavities. Abrasion can also cause sensitive gums due to the root surfaces being exposed.
According to the website of Dr. Sid K. Steadman, D.D.S., proper tooth brushing should last about 2 minutes. One suggestion is to make four sections of your mouth, and brush each section for 30 seconds. This is to make sure that each section is thoroughly cleaned, but don’t take too long, otherwise you might damage your teeth or risk sore gums and other gum problems. It is also recommended to brush your teeth three times a day, but make sure to wait for about an hour after eating before brushing your teeth. This is because after eating, the mouth will be full of acids that could soften the tooth enamel and make it vulnerable if you are brushing your teeth immediately after eating or too abrasively. Don’t overdo it.
Holding your brush at an angle of 45 degrees to your gums, brush in an up-and-down action is short strokes. Avoid brushing with wide strokes moving side to side as this could scrape your gum line. Make sure to brush the inner and outer part of your tooth surfaces, and don’t forget to clean the tongue (the main reason for bad breath). To avoid getting bored or lazy, start brushing in different areas than you usually do.
Dentists generally recommend using soft-bristled toothbrushes – they are more efficient in cleaning the teeth without cause abrasions. To compliment your toothbrush, find toothpaste that is not too harsh to your tooth enamel. Whitening toothpastes tend to have strong ingredients that can sand away tooth enamel. Lastly, toothbrushes also lose their flexibility and become frayed and broken through time. Make sure to change your toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months.