Chances are, you were told to brush your teeth and floss every day since you can remember and by now, it’s probably just second nature (well, maybe not the flossing part for some of us). However, it’s important that you understand just how important your oral health routine is—and that you aren’t just doing it every day, but doing it right every day.
This guide will be a brief refresher for you on why teeth brushing and flossing is so important, as well as show you some things you may be doing wrong with your oral health routine.
Teeth Brushing: Why It’s So Important
Brushing your teeth twice a day not only keeps your breath smelling fresh but also helps to fight stains and keep damaging plaque from building up. In addition, it prevents you from contracting harmful gum diseases. Gum diseases impact your overall health along with your oral health.
Studies have shown that gum disease can lead to heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes, strokes, and early tooth loss. While visiting the dentist regularly is crucial for your oral health, brushing your teeth daily is the best practical way you can maintain quality oral health. However, if you aren’t using the proper techniques when brushing, you will still be susceptible to these negative oral health consequences.
Teeth Brushing 101
Brushing your teeth correctly is just as important as brushing them regularly. The following techniques are provided by the American Dental Association (ADA) in regards to properly brushing your teeth:
- Brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes on each occasion. Where possible, brush your teeth immediately after a meal. This regimen will help prevent bacteria build up in your mouth and keep tooth decay at bay.
- Select the right toothbrush and toothpaste. For your toothbrush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush that can comfortably fit inside your mouth; one that’s soft enough to prevent gum and tooth damage in brushing, but firm enough to remove plaque. Recent studies showed that electric or battery-powered toothbrushes are more effective at preventing gingivitis and removing plaque than manual toothbrushes. For your toothpaste, there are plenty of high-quality options. Just make sure the one you purchase is approved by the ADA.
- As for your technique, use a gentle circular motion when brushing. Separate your teeth into four separate quadrants and brush each quadrant for at least 30 seconds. Don’t brush too hard as this can damage your teeth and gums. Also, it’s important for you to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to prevent bacteria build-up.
- After you brush, clean your toothbrush by thoroughly rinsing it with water. Store it in an upright position and let it air dry. Storing your toothbrush in a closed container leads to bacteria build-up in the brush itself. Replace your toothbrush at a maximum of every three months or earlier if the bristles have worn down.
- Floss every day to get stubborn food particles and plaque build-up removed from in between your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing and flossing to remove any lingering dislodged food particles.
See A Dentist You Can Trust
Properly brushing and flossing your teeth can prevent you from encountering a plethora of negative health consequences—however, there’s only so much you can do by yourself. In order to make sure that you’re brushing and flossing properly, and that your oral health is kept in check, you need to see your dentist regularly. LeCroy Dental aims to make the dentist experience as comfortable, professional, and compassionate as possible. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and see what makes our practice so special. We’d love to hear from you!