We were all taught how to brush our teeth when we were children, and we used the same routine until it became second nature. But it turns out that many of us were taught incorrectly. North Pointe Dental Associates in North Tampa has transformed thousands of smiles and has found that the most common cause of patients’ dental problems is improper brushing technique.
With just a few minor tweaks, you can ensure excellent oral hygiene for a bright smile and pearly whites. Here are five simple tips straight from the best Tampa dentists at North Pointe Dental Associates that you can start applying today. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about brushing your teeth the correct way.
- Choose the right toothbrush.
Toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes, but picking the right one will make all the difference. First, you need to make sure that your toothbrush covers and reaches the entire surface of each tooth. This means it should fit your mouth with no discomfort and reach the back teeth easily.
If your toothbrush head is too big you will not be able to reach all the teeth comfortably. According to recent studies, electric toothbrushes may do a better job of cleaning the teeth and gums than manual brushes. But regardless of the type of brush you use, the bristles should be soft enough to bend and remove plaque and food particles around the gums as well as the teeth.
- Keep your toothbrush clean.
If you leave your toothbrush on the bathroom counter between uses, get a toothbrush holder or store the toothbrush vertically in a cup to avoid bacteria accumulating on your brush. Also, replace your toothbrush every three months, not only because of the bacteria but also to ensure that the bristles are in good shape.
- Be gentle on your gums.
Now that we’ve covered the toothbrush essentials, let’s talk brushing! There is a common misconception that brushing harder is better. But plaque is soft so you don’t have to scrub too hard. In fact, vigorous scrubbing can actually be damaging to your gums and teeth. So, the next time you brushing your teeth, tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently massage your teeth and gums with a small, circular motion.
- Take your time.
We get it – you’re in a hurry, late for work, rushing to get errands done, or you’re exhausted after a long day and just want to go to bed. So you cut it short. Don’t! To adequately clean your teeth, you need to brush at least twice a day between two and three minutes, preferably after meals.
To accomplish this, consider setting a timer, playing your favorite song, or using an electric toothbrush. Most power toothbrushes today either pulse or turn off automatically after two minutes, so you don’t have to keep track of your brushing time.
- Brush all sides.
Speaking of power brushes, some of them have different modes, including one where the handle vibrates every 30 seconds to signal you should move on to the next area. This will remind you to brush the chewing areas and the inner sides of your teeth. Remember: just because you can’t see it does not mean the inner side doesn’t require as much brushing as the visible area of your teeth.
If you’re unsure about the proper technique to brush your teeth or just need advice on how to pick the right brush, North Pointe Dental Associates can help. It is a full-service dental practice and home to some of the best dentists in Tampa. You can call anytime to make an appointment: (813) 961-1727.