Oral Care: The Dos and Don’ts of Brushing
I’m sure that you’ve been taught by your parents at an early age that brushing your teeth is important. Just like taking a shower, we’ve been brushing countless of times that we don’t put much thought on the action. We pick up the toothbrush, squeeze toothpaste on the bristles, and brush away. Easy enough, right? Wrong!
Simple as it sounds, correct brushing actually requires the proper skill to execute and you might be doing the simple task wrong all along. For all you know, you might be doing more damage on your teeth whenever you brush. Your brushing strokes, time spent on brushing, and the kind of toothbrush you use might not be maximizing the time and effort you spend on daily dental routine.
Be aware of the dos and don’ts of brushing, the importance of flossing, and pointers when choosing the right toothbrush to maintain clean and healthy teeth.
1. Choosing the right toothbrush
There are a number of things you should consider when picking out a toothbrush. A toothbrush with bristles hard enough to remove the plaque is ideal because bristles that are too hard will cause damage to your gums and the enamel of your teeth.
The right size is important as well. If the toothbrush is too big, you will have difficulties reaching the inner parts of your mouth. Teeth that are barely brushed have higher chances of garnering bacteria and decay.
2. Electric or Manual?
When deciding whether to buy an electric or manual toothbrush really depends on your preference.
“A person who brushes well with a manual will do as well as a person who brushes well with an electric,” the President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Industry Michael Sesenann says.
According to the Academy of General Industry, the best toothbrush to get is the one you will actually use.
3. Replacing toothbrush regularly
Just because there are still bristles intact on your toothbrush, doesn’t mean it still usable. Toothbrush should be replaced every three months to avoid bacteria accumulating. Old toothbrush might be spreading more bacteria to your mouth than cleaning it! You have to change even sooner once you notice that the bristles of your current one are already very frayed and bent.
4. Brush two to three times a day.
Dentists recommend that we brush our teeth two times a day, in the morning and before you go to bed. Three times is ideal, doing it every after meal. If more than that, maybe not.
Brushing too often could expose the root of your tooth to irritation and later on irritate the gums and erode the enamel. But if you don’t brush at least two times a day, bacteria will spread and invade your mouth, causing tooth decay.
5. Vertical, not horizontal
We’re guilty of brushing our teeth in a horizontal manner. Why not? The horizontal strokes cover more space and saves time! Even though it cuts back in time, long horizontal strokes along your gum line can cause abrasions and erode the enamel faster. Removing plaques are more effective if you position your bristles at a 45- degree angles and do short vertical strokes or vibrations. Don’t forget to include the tongue in the cleaning process!
6. The rules of flossing
Flossing is as important as brushing because it takes care of the part of your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing before brushing is recommended for it gives you the opportunity to clear the spaces between your teeth and allow the toothpaste to reach more places. Remember that flossing your back teeth is more important than flossing your front teeth because they’re the one that do the most chewing and more food gets stuck there.
Check out as well this video for a quick illustration of brushing your teeth:
Now that you know what you’re doing wrong, time to change your brushing habit! Throw away that six-month old toothbrush and buy a new one. Also, don’t forget to have a regular check- up with your dentist to address more serious dental issues simple brushing can’t solve.
Are you brushing the correct way? Do you think these tips are effective? Share your thoughts with up at the comment box below.