Brushing Basics

 

Old Woman BrushingYou brush your teeth every day, but have you ever given this daily habit much thought? Take a few moments to learn a little more about brushing your teeth.

How often should you brush your teeth?

You should brush your teeth after each meal, or at least twice a day. To make it easier to keep your teeth clean when you are away from home, keep a toothbrush in the desk at your office or in your purse or briefcase.

When should you brush your teeth?

You should brush your teeth after a meal, but in some situations you should wait a few minutes instead of immediately brushing. For example, if you’ve consumed acidic foods or beverages, brushing right away can get the acid into your enamel and cause damage. Instead, rinse out your mouth, give saliva time to work, and brush your teeth about a half an hour later.

Why do you need to use toothpaste?

Toothpaste can give you nice breath, but it serves other important functions. Some important ingredients in toothpaste include:

  • Fluoride, which strengthens your teeth and protects your enamel
  • Abrasives, which dislodge particles and prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar
  • Detergents that create foam and bubbles and spread the toothpaste around in your mouth.
  • Mint oils to provide a pleasant flavor and fresh breath

What kind of toothbrush should you use?

In most cases, you should be using a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles. You can choose between a regular toothbrush and an electric toothbrush based on your personal preference. In some situations your dentist may recommend a specific type of toothbrush, in which case, you should certainly heed that advice.

What technique should you use?

Brushing your teeth is pretty simple, but the following techniques can make brushing more effective:

  • Floss before you brush to dislodge particles that are stuck in between teeth
  • Move your toothbrush in small circles like train wheels instead of back and forth
  • Avoid brushing too hard since this can weaken your enamel, damage your gums, and leave you vulnerable to infection.

As always you should follow the advice given by your dentist. Contact Royal Dental Associates to learn more about taking care of your teeth.

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