Brushing up on the Basics

A daily oral hygiene habit is vital to ensure optimal oral health and preventing dental problems. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. While you may already know how to brush your teeth properly, refreshing yourself on the basics may improve your dental health. Here are some tips from Dr. Antonio Oliviero of Dentistry on Broadway for brushing your teeth thoroughly.

Choosing a ToothBrush

First, choose the right toothbrush. Ignore the medium and hard-bristled toothbrushes in the grocery aisle. These brushes will only be harmful to your sensitive gum tissue and could damage your tooth enamel. Only use soft bristled toothbrushes approved by the American Dental Association. Tongue scrapers on the heads of toothbrushes might be beneficial but these additions are not necessary. You can adequately clean your tongue using the bristles of your toothbrush.

Correct Brushing Techniques

  • Brush your teeth at an angle so that you can apply the appropriate amount of force to your teeth.
  • An appropriate pressure should not harm your gum tissue. If your gums bleed during brushing, brush more gently; however, if you are already brushing gently or you do not notice an improvement, bleeding gums may be a sign of gingivitis.
  • Brush each tooth in small circles that lightly scrub the gums as well.
  • Removing plaque along the gum line is crucial to preventing periodontal disease.
  • Pay attention to each tooth by brushing on all sides.
  • Smile wide to brush the front of your teeth and use the tip of the brush to reach the back of posterior teeth.
  • The molars, or back teeth, are the most susceptible to decay so pay close attention to the crevices of each.
  • Don’t forget to use the bristles of your brush to remove bacteria from the back of your tongue, rinsing after each scrape.

Brushing with Purpose

Stop the multitasking during brushing. Many people do other tasks while brushing to save time, when in actuality, it might take them less time to stop and pay attention to their teeth. Two minutes is the recommended time for brushing. Use this time systematically instead of brushing aimlessly for an arbitrary amount of time. Look at your smile in the mirror and carefully watch where you are brushing.