Most people think they know how to brush their teeth. They just sort of grab their toothbrush, slather on some toothpaste, scrub the teeth with it for a few seconds and rinse. Then, they go to bed.
The bad news is this isn’t the best way to brush the teeth. Here’s the right way to brush the teeth from Dr. Robison, award-winning Mesa Dentist | Robison Dental Group:
First, find the right toothbrush.
The right toothbrush has soft bristles. Some people are surprised at this because they believe that a firm bristle brush will really clean the teeth and get rid of that tartar. The fact is, a brush with firm bristles can hurt the teeth, and hurt the gums. The brush should also have a small head because a smaller head makes it easier to reach the molars. Some people swear by electric or sonic toothbrushes, which do all the work. They are just the thing for people with arthritic hands or other problems that make it hard to manipulate a toothbrush.
Get a new toothbrush when the bristles of the old one start to bend. Some toothbrushes have blue bristles whose color starts to fade when they’re starting to wear out. If the user has had a cold or the flu, they should throw out the toothbrush after they’ve recovered so they won’t re-infect themselves. This happens.
Second, buy the right toothpaste. Toothpaste should be fluoridated. Fluorides have the ability to remineralize the teeth which means they help to restore the minerals that were lost during the day. Nowadays there is a toothpaste for every problem, including tartar, gingivitis and sensitivity.
Next, apply a small bead of toothpaste on the brush. A lot of toothpaste that fills the mouth with suds looks like it’s doing something, but a small bit of toothpaste cleans just as well.
Place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle at the gumline, and move it around each tooth in tiny circular motions. Some people sweep the brush away from the gums. Make sure to brush the front and back of the teeth. Use the tip of the brush to brush the backs of the teeth.
Brush the tongue, for it too is full of bacteria that can cause bad breath.
After this, floss. Pull out about a foot and a half to two feet of dental floss, and wrap the ends around the middle and index fingers. Slip the floss in between the teeth, and move it gently up and down against the side of the tooth. Be very careful not to slice into the gums.
The rule of thumb when it comes to brushing the teeth is that it should take as long as it takes the person to sing “Happy Birthday,” twice, or maybe their favorite song once.
Brush and floss twice a day and after meals.
Brushing with Braces
People with traditional braces have a challenge when it comes to brushing their teeth. It is crucial that bits of food be kept out of the brackets and the wires. It is even more important that food and sugar doesn’t get behind the brackets to affect the teeth. The patient can ask for a special electric brush or a tiny manual brush called a proxabrush to make sure that all those tiny spaces are reached. Also, the braces themselves have to be brushed.