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Posted on: December 29, 2020
Brush Up on the Benefits of Brushing
Most adults don’t give teeth brushing much thought. It’s just something they have done since they were children. We brush our teeth so when we talk to others our breath smells fresh and clean. As long as we have fresh breath and teeth that appear clean and white, we feel we brush adequately. Unfortunately, teeth brushing is supposed to keep our teeth healthy, not just clean. Slacking off on good brushing habits, or not learning them in the first place, can lead to dental problems which could have been prevented.
Why Is Teeth Brushing Vital to Good Dental Health?
You can have a major impact on your dental health by how you take care of your teeth at home and by limiting your consumption of sugary foods and drinks. You can reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease by taking care of your teeth. This will help you keep your teeth longer and avoid painful problems and expensive dental work.
Why Should I Worry About Plaque?
Everyone gets plaque. It’s the sticky film that builds up on your teeth when you eat and drink sugary and starchy foods and beverages. Brushing your teeth correctly gets rid of plaque, which contains acids that can eat holes in your teeth called cavities. If plaque stays on your teeth, especially in areas you miss when you brush, it hardens into a substance called tartar. Tarter near your gums will irritate and inflame them, causing gingivitis. Fortunately, you can reverse gingivitis with a professional teeth cleaning and better brushing habits. If left untreated, gingivitis may progress to periodontal disease. If this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and your teeth will loosen without treatment to stop the disease’s progression.
Additionally, gum disease is not just tied to tooth loss. Gum disease is also linked to strokes, heart disease and pneumonia, among other preventable diseases. It’s incredibly important, at any age, to practice proper oral health care activities. If you need more advice, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible. We know it can be a challenge for some individuals to get access to affordable dental care which is why we hope this bushing overview helps to provide a better guide. Please also contact our office to see if we have payment or discount plans available. We don’t want you to feel out of touch with your dental health for financial reasons.
Tips to Effectively Brush Your Teeth
Dentists will tell you taking care of your teeth at home is one of the best ways you can keep them healthy. Brushing properly twice a day and flossing once, along with avoiding sugary foods and drinks, can help you avoid having your dentist find cavities during your exam. To brush properly:
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and bristles with different heights. This ensures the bristles can reach the nooks and crannies where plaque can hide. Change your toothbrush every four months; sooner if the bristles look frayed. You can also use an electric toothbrush if you prefer.
- Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your brush. Be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal on it. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle pointing toward your gums. Use a circular motion to brush all sides of your teeth, including the chewing surfaces.
- Brush for at least two minutes. Set a timer at first; two minutes is longer than you think. The reason most people don’t brush correctly is because they don’t brush long enough. Make sure you brush all your teeth. Too many people concentrate on their front teeth and give a cursory brush to their back teeth.
- Spit out the remaining toothpaste when you’re finished. Not rinsing keeps the fluoride on your teeth.
- Floss once a day, either before or after brushing. This is an important step as it keeps plaque from accumulating between your teeth. Most people don’t like flossing. The American Dental Association conducted a study where 75 percent of the respondents said they would rather go grocery shopping than floss their teeth. There are options, like self-threaded flossers and water or air powered flossers that make the job easier.
- Brush at least twice a day or after every meal. Interestly, the ADA recommends that you wait at least 30 minutes to an hour after eating to avoid damaging your tooth enamel. We highly recommend brushing after every meal, but we also understand this may not be possible. If it’s not possible, try to rinse your mouth with water or a sugar-free gum for the time being.
- You may also use a mouth rinse with fluoride or an antiseptic mouth rinse, depending on what your dentist recommends. If you want a therapeutic mouthwash with benefits beyond breath freshening, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure the product is safe and effective. Children shouldn’t use mouthwash unless it is specifically labeled safe for their use.
- Put your toothbrush away sitting in an upright position. If you cover your toothbrush, don’t cover it until it is completely dry. Covering a wet toothbrush makes it a breeding ground for bacteria. The next time you use the toothbrush, you’ll be putting bacteria in your mouth.
See your dentist every six months for a checkup and professional teeth cleaning. You’ll learn if you’re brushing well during your teeth cleaning. The hygienist may offer recommendations if you’re missing any spots on your teeth.
Brushing Your Way to a Great Smile
Your teeth do so much for you. They help you chew the foods you love to eat and help you to speak clearly. Your teeth are also important if you want a confident, healthy smile. With all your teeth do for you, the least you can do is spend less than 10 minutes a day taking care of them. They are worth it.