How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way
We all know that regular dental visits are a key to oral health, but no one wants to go to the dentist more than they have to. So, at The Bondi Dentists, we wanted to offer some key tips to help you avoid common mistakes and ensure your teeth remain healthy and strong.
1. Pick the Right Brush
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to pick the wrong brush. Our toothbrush has to be able to reach all of the places that need attention. Both manual or powered toothbrushes will do the job, but the bristles have to be soft and flexible. This lets them bend around the tooth and reach under the edge of the gum. It’s important to get the right size head, as well. Too large a head can restrict motion and prevent proper cleaning in those hard to reach areas.
The bristles are the number one key, though. We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that hard bristles clean better, but the opposite is the truth. Soft bristles are ideal for cleaning the teeth completely and, unlike hard bristles, they won’t wear down the enamel on your teeth.
2. Brush Softly
Just like with the bristles, harder is not better. Soft brushing does the job just fine. Plus, it saves your gums and teeth unnecessary wear and tear, and helps to prevent worse dental issues down the line. Plaque is really soft and loose, so think about massaging your teeth rather than scrubbing them.
3. Take Your Time!
Consistency and patience is key. Think a minimum of twice daily, and make sure you give yourself at least two minutes each time. There’s no need to rush, and the extra minute and a half you spend now can save you thousands of dollars in cosmetic dentistry down the line, as well as keeping your smile bright and white. If you have trouble with patience, just pop in some headphones and use a song as your time.
4. Change Your Brush Regularly
I know, we get attached. “But I really like that toothbrush!” The thing is, when the bristled start to look frayed, the toothbrush isn’t doing the full job anymore. Watch out to make sure your bristles aren’t discoloured or bent. A good rule of thumb is to change the toothbrush every three to four months. Also, make sure that you store your brush in open air to prevent the accumulation of mould or bacteria.
5. Technique matters!
Sorry to say it, folks, but side to side brushing doesn’t do a great job at getting your teeth clean. Not only that, but improper brushing can actually damage your teeth. Up and down is the way to go. That makes sure that the spaces between teeth are cleaned and helps to get closer to the gum line. And remember – Softly! Don’t scrub. Massage.
6. Don’t forget the gum line!
I know, I know, this one’s mentioned in the last tip, but it’s important enough to be said twice. The gum line is where most of the bacteria gather in your mouth. It’s the area easiest to miss when we don’t brush properly. Plus, it’s where 90% of problems tend to occur. This is one reason it’s important for the bristles to be soft. They have to bend enough to get under the gum for that 2 to 3 mm that offers safe refuge to germs. And don’t forget the tongue side of the teeth. You may just think that the visible part is important, but issues on the tongue surface of a tooth can quickly lead to problems with the whole tooth or gums.
Pro Tip from The Bondi Dentists: Angle the brush at 45 degrees to get right into the gums.
7. Wait 15 – 20 Minutes after Meals
After you eat, your mouth is filled with acidic remnants of the meal. If you rush right to the sink and brush up after the last bite, you abrade your teeth while they are soaking in a mild acid. Not a good combination. Give it a bit to let the saliva buffer out the acid, or, if you have to, rinse the mouth well with water before brushing.
8. Do a Thoroughly Job at least Once a Day
That’s brushing, flossing, mouthwash, the works. Take your time and do it right. Making sure that your mouth is completely taken care of, tongue brushed, everything. Do that once a day and the bacteria that cause plaque, gingivitis, and other dental issues have far less time to get set up.
If you think it’s time for your next dental appointment or you have any questions, feel free to contact us. At The Bondi Dentists, we are dedicated to helping you have the brightest, healthiest smile you can.