The idea of a how-to guide for teeth brushing may seem ludicrous. After all, most of us have brushed our teeth so many times, we usually let our mental autopilot setting take care of things for us. However, it is precisely because of that reason that we need to refresh our routine once in a while!
As we go through the motions with our oral hygiene, things may start to get sloppy. Even if you’ve never encountered an issue with decay or gum disease, there could still be an error with your dental hygiene that will affect your oral health down the road.
Before your teeth become damaged, check out our guide for how to brush your teeth using the proper method.
Choosing Your Tools
You will need a few materials before getting started: a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Toothbrushes come with a variety of head sizes, so choose one that works well in your mouth. Make sure you’re replacing your brush every three months, or when the bristles fray.
Time it Out
After you eat, you should wait 30 minutes before you brush. That’s because eating affects the pH balance in your mouth. You don’t want to brush while your saliva is acidic, as it is right after eating.
In the meantime, stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water will help new, less-acidic saliva to form.
It’s important to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth. Those two minutes allow the fluoride to do its work by sinking into your teeth.
Step 1: Turn your toothbrush to a 45-degree angle. Start with short strokes, brushing along your gums on your inner and outer tooth surfaces. Don’t forget the back molars!
Step 2: Hold your brush directly on top of your chewing surfaces, continuing the short strokes, but this time parallel to the ground.
Step 3: Tilt the brush vertically and brush the backs of your teeth in up and down strokes.
Step 4: Sweeping front to back, brush off your tongue. This step is often forgotten, but it’s an important one! Your tongue tends to harbor a great deal of bacteria that causes odor and decay.
Step 5: Avoid rinsing with water, since that will rinse away the tooth-strengthening fluoride from your teeth. If you can’t stand the feel of the sudsy paste, rinse your mouth with a fluoride rinse. Just be sure to wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking!
Switch Things Up
Think of your mouth as consisting of four quarters:
- Top Right
- Top Left
- Bottom Right
- Bottom Left
Be sure to vary the order in which you hit these areas with your brush. The more time you spend brushing your teeth, the sloppier you will tend to get with your technique, so varying the area you brush first and last goes a long way toward helping you achieve a healthy smile.
Brushing Alone Isn’t Enough!
This guide gives you a detailed overview on proper brushing technique, which is a great start, but not the whole package!
If you want to keep your teeth bright and healthy, floss daily and visit a dentist twice a year in addition to brushing every day.