Did you know that the average American spends about 1,000 hours brushing their teeth over the course of their lifetime? The toothbrush was selected as the number one invention Americans could not live without, which makes it a pretty important tool. However, you can invest in the nicest toothbrush on the market, but it will do you no good if you neglect to brush and floss your teeth the right way.
What is the Best Toothbrush to Use?
To begin with, toothbrushes should have soft bristles, not hard bristles. Hard bristles are rough on the gum line and can cause exposure to the tooth root and increased tooth sensitivity. Generally, the toothbrush head size should be able to brush two teeth at a time and fit easily in the mouth.
Toothbrushes or toothbrush bristles should be replaced about every two to three months, or as soon as bristles begin to fray or wear out. Toothbrushes or bristles should also always be replaced after getting sick.
Children and toddlers need different toothbrushes than adults. They need a tiny toothbrush head for those tiny teeth, as well as very soft bristles, and a large handle so they can hold it easily.
If you need more information on how to find the best toothbrush, check out this blog. You can also consult your dentists at Apple Tree Dental for toothbrush recommendations that would work best for your situation!
How to Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth should be done every morning and every night, as well as after consuming food with high carbs and sugars.
1- The bristles of your toothbrush should be placed at a 45-degree angle to the gumline.
2- Apply a little pressure. Not too much pressure, just enough to feel the bristles brushing against your gums and teeth. Don’t squish the bristles.
3- Use short, circular strokes and a scrubbing motion to brush all inner and outer surfaces of each tooth.
4-Brush the molars on the back of your mouth straight on.
5-Brush the backside of your front teeth using up and down motions.
6- Use a mirror to make sure no single tooth is left un-scrubbed!
7- Last, but not least, remember to brush your whole tongue to remove bad breath-causing oral bacteria.
8- Effective brushing of your teeth should last about 2-3 minutes. Brushing for a full two minutes helps receive the maximum benefit of the fluoride in the toothpaste as well.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Your nightly oral health routine should NOT stop after you brush your teeth. The key to a perfect brush is to floss every day!
1- With about 18” of floss, wind each end around your middle or pointer fingers and hold down with your thumb.
2- With about an inch of floss in between your hands, glide the floss in between each tooth.
3- Curve the floss in a “C” motion” alongside each tooth at your gum line.
4- Repeat on all teeth, including your molars.
5- If you have a permanent retainer, use a floss threader to floss underneath the retainer.
6- If you do not floss regularly, your gums may bleed. If this is the case, do not give up! After about a week of regular flossing, the built-up bacteria in your gums will be removed and they will stop bleeding.
Fun fact, if you come into our office you may see us wearing, "May the floss be with you" silicone wristbands. Thanks to reminderband.com for these awesome bands!
After thoroughly brushing and flossing, be sure to rinse your mouth out to remove any loose plaque and food. Opt for a mouthwash if you need to. For mouthwash recommendations, check out this blog!
Along with brushing and flossing every single day, dental cleanings should be done about every six months to maintain your clean teeth and oral health. For the best dentist near me, call us at Apple Tree Dental, to schedule an appointment online here.