Almost everybody brushes their teeth, but only one in ten people are doing it effectively!
To that, we have to say a great big “YUCK!!” Imagine if only ten percent of the population showered correctly. That would be pretty gross. But according to researchers at The University of Gothenburg, ninety percent of the population does not brush their teeth in the right way!
Don’t worry!! Your friends at Falmouth Dental Arts are here to help you. So sit back and open wide as we present….
The Top Eight Toothbrushing Tips!
1. Size Matters!
Many people use a large toothbrush head thinking “the bigger the better.” But you can brush just as effectively if not more so with a smaller brush, especially if you have to strain your mouth to use a larger one.
According to dental consumer advisor Dr. Richard Price, “the more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly.”
2. It’s Good To Be A Softy!
It would seem to make sense that firmer bristles would clean your teeth better, but many times they just wind up damaging your sensitive gum tissue. The American Dental Association recommends a soft-bristled brush and we agree!
3. Don’t Do A Rush Job!
While most people spend fifteen seconds or so per round of brushing, a full two minutes is best. And to make sure you don’t play favorites, divide your mouth into four sections (upper right, lower right, etc..) and spend thirty seconds on each.
Some electric toothbrushes actually have timers, but you don’t need to be so fancy. Find a thirty second song and sing it to yourself for each mouth quarter. Or multitask by watching TV until the full two minutes is up.
4. What’s Your Angle?
While we typically picture toothbrushing to be a horizontal affair, that leaves out many important tooth surfaces, including the crucial area where the tooth meets the gum line. Aim your bristles at a forty-five degree angle and make sure they gently dip below the outer surface of your gums. This can get very tricky, and we recommend that you have one of the fantastic members of our dental hygiene team give you a full demonstration!
5. It’s An Inside Job!
The inner surfaces of the teeth are often overlooked, but just because they hide from daylight doesn’t mean you should neglect them! Take the time to brush all tooth surfaces, inside and out. Oh – don’t forget your tongue either!
After you brush, loose bacteria are floating around in your mouth having a big old party. It’s time to finish them up with a rinse of mouthwash or even water. They’re on your toothbrush too, so it’s always a good idea to run that under the sink for a few seconds when you finish!
7. Forced Retirement
Many people get nostalgic over their old toothbrushes, but keeping them for too long is a big mistake!! Frayed bristles can’t clean correctly, and even worse – they harbor all kinds of nasty germs. The American Dental Association suggests changing your toothbrush every three to four months – but we think that may even be too long of an interval for many. When in doubt – toss it out!
8. And There’s One More Thing…..
Even though we are discussing toothbrushing, it just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning those tooth surfaces between your teeth – the ones that can’t be reached with a brush. Yes, that’s right – we all need to floss!! Daily flossing prevents cavities and helps to keep your gums in good shape.
At Falmouth Dental Arts, we want you to have strong healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath and a beautiful smile!! Please call us now at 207-781-5900 to schedule an appointment, ask any questions about keeping your teeth and gums nice and clean, or even to schedule a complimentary toothbrushing and flossing lesson! We are here for you!