Whether you use a manual toothbrush or electric, proper tooth brushing involves two things: a soft-bristled toothbrush that is kinder to your teeth and gums, and toothpaste with fluoride. Once you have the proper tools, be sure to use the proper technique to ensure that your teeth are as clean and healthy as possible.
The Right Technique
Be sure to angle the bristles along the gum-line at a 45-degree angle and apply gentle pressure. Move the brush in short back and forth strokes and in small circular motions. Brush two or three teeth at a time and them move on to the next set of teeth, allowing some overlap.
Brush in any pattern you choose, but be mindful that the insides of the teeth generally get less attention. It’s best practice to start with the insides, move to the chewing surfaces of your molars, and then tackle the rest. Remember to end by gently brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove the bacteria that causes bad breath.
It’s All About the Timing
The timing of your brushing is important, too. Brushing after breakfast cleans away the morning’s food debris (and the plaque that accumulated overnight) and prevents the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth from leaving behind the destructive acid they produce when they digest your meals. The same is true of brushing your teeth before bedtime; remove the food debris from dinner and rest assured that your teeth and gums are healthy.
Copyright © 2005, Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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