Brushing your teeth is important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Here, our Southeast Calgary dentists explain the right way to brush your teeth and why it's so important to practice proper techniques at home.
Preventive hygiene is important for your oral health.
Not only does this mean attending regular cleanings and exams at your dentist office, it means practicing good oral health care routines at home, including brushing your teeth at least twice each day.
Thorough, regular teeth brushing can help keep your smile healthy and protect your teeth and gums. It helps to remove the bacteria that causes tooth decay and the plaque that causes gum disease.
Here, our Calgary dentists share the right way to brush your teeth including how often, how long and what brush to use.
How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way
Be sure to clean every surface of every tooth in your mouth. This includes the chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side. You can also brush your tongue from back-to-front to remove odour-producing bacteria.
On chewing surfaces, brush using a back-and-forth motion. On the sides, brush at 45 degree angle using a sweeping motion. For the upper teeth, sweep downward, and for lower teeth sweep upward.
How Often to Brush
Brush your teeth at least twice a day - once in the morning and once before bed at night. You should also floss before bed to make sure that no food debris is trapped between your teeth.
If you're able to fit it into your routine, you may want to add a third session in about 30 minutes after eating lunch.
How Long to Brush
A thorough teeth brushing should take at least two minutes, but no longer than four minutes. Try timing yourself to make sure your brushing routine meets the recommended length.
Spend 30 seconds on each of the following sections of teeth: top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right. Then divide the rest of your time between the front, back and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
What Brush to Use
Use a soft brush with rounded bristles that allow you to reach your back teeth. Hard or medium bristles can wear down your tooth enamel over time, and cause damage and sensitivity.
An electric toothbrush is often a good choice because it does a more efficient job of brushing than a manual brush does.
There are many different brush shapes and sizes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you.