Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 15-02-2022
Tooth brushing is a common daily routine. Regular dental cleaning, brushing and flossing every day will keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy.
At Milltown Dental, we know a thing or two about brushing, and we often receive questions about the right way to brush. Here are seven tips for brushing your teeth to help keep your pearly whites looking and feeling their best.
1. Brush for 2-minutes
It’s not enough to brush twice a day. You need to maximize your brushing efforts by brushing for 2-minutes each time. A quick swipe of toothpaste on our teeth isn’t enough to get debris and buildup from tough-to-reach places. A full 2-minute cleaning twice a day ensures your teeth get a proper cleaning.
Along with your 2-minute timed brush, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle during the dental cleaning. This lets the bristles of your brush reach in between teeth and access many of the nooks and crannies you can’t reach, holding your brush flat against your teeth.
2. Choose the right toothbrush
A home dental cleaning becomes a headache when you have the wrong toothbrush on hand. Don’t go for the cheapest one in the oral health aisle when selecting a brush. Instead, choose one that fits your mouth and brushing needs.
Size is one area that is important to consider when selecting a brush, especially if you’re choosing a toothbrush for a child. Children have small mouths and small teeth. Adult brushes are often too large to comfortably fit in their mouths and give enough range of motion to reach all their teeth.
3. Opt for soft bristles
Another toothbrush element to consider is bristle-firmness. Soft bristles are generally better for your gums and the enamel of your teeth. Firm bristles might seem to be getting teeth cleaner quicker, but they’re harsh on the external coating of your teeth.
While you scrape away plaque and tartar buildup, you could also be scraping away enamel and hurting your gums. A soft bristle brush does the job just fine so long as you brush the full 2-minutes.
3. Choose toothpaste with a CDA seal
In Canada, the Canadian Dental Association regulates dental products for consumers. When you choose a toothpaste, check for the CDA seal of approval to ensure your toothpaste meets the association's specifications.
Good quality toothpaste should contain fluoride, a natural mineral that helps protect tooth enamel from acidic foods and drinks. It helps prevent early signs of aging teeth and tooth decay.
4. Swap out your old toothbrush for a new one
Many patients are surprised to learn that your toothbrush should be replaced once every 3 to 4 months. If you’re using your toothbrush properly (twice a day for 2-minutes per brush), you’ll find that the bristles begin to bend and fray. As bristles break down, they become less effective at cleaning your teeth.
Not having fresh bristles on your brush leaves missed bacteria that grow and negatively impact your teeth. Buy a new brush earlier than 3-months if you notice the bristles wearing out prematurely.
5. Brush in circles
Everyone has a preferred brushing method. From childhood, many of us learn, “Brush up like a rocket, down like the rain, back and forth like a choo choo train.” While catchy, brushing in straight motions is harsh on your gums. The best way to brush is in circular motions. This lets you cover more surface area and lessen the physical impact of brushing on your teeth.
Don’t forget to brush the teeth in the back of your mouth and behind your teeth to get plaque and debris hiding in tough-to-see spaces.
6. Don’t forget to floss
Brushing alone isn’t enough for proper dental cleaning. You’ve got to get in between teeth, and your brush can’t always do that. Flossing is an essential practice to add to your brushing time each day. You should floss at least once a day, but more if you eat a meal that leaves something stuck in your teeth. For example, popcorn kernels are a bother to remove with a brush.
To floss properly, don’t snap your floss down against your gum, and don’t rub it back and forth over your gums. Instead, gently slide the floss between teeth in a back and forth motion. Once between two teeth, pull the floss gently around the side of the tooth so it rubs on your teeth and not your gums. Release the floss on one side and pull it out between your teeth, removing debris and plaque.
7. Get regular dental cleanings
Along with all your brushing and flossing, visit the dentist for a professional dental cleaning. Dental cleanings are recommended once every 6-months, but you should try to get one at least once a year.
This cleaning is different from the dental cleaning you perform at home. Your dentist scrapes tartar and plaque from your teeth that you miss with your brush. They also give you a fluoride treatment and check your mouth for imperfections.
Regular dental cleanings help promote long-lasting teeth and gums, keeping your oral health in tip-top shape for years to come. Your dentist may also offer advice on brushing your teeth more efficiently, as no two mouths are exactly alike.
Contact Milltown Dental Today
Do you want to learn more about the best brushing and flossing techniques or schedule your 6-month dental cleaning? Milltown Dental wants to hear from you. We serve families across Milton, Ontario, working with patients of all ages. At Milltown Dental, our patients must have all the tools and information to keep their smiles healthy.
To chat with one of our professional team members, or book a one-on-one consultation, call 1-833-318-3281 or visit us online.