Table of Content:
- Why is brushing your teeth so important?
- What is the correct way to brush your teeth?
- How long should you brush your teeth?
- Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual brush?
- What type of toothbrush do you recommend?
Brushing your teeth helps remove food particles from your teeth surfaces to keep them clean and healthy. If you don’t brush your teeth properly, food and plaque gathers on your teeth surfaces. Gradually, these buildups calcify and form a substance known as tartar or calculus. Tartar is very hard and sticky, which makes it impossible to remove from your teeth by yourself. Tartar harbors harmful bacteria which produce acidic byproducts. It’s this acid that’s responsible for destroying your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Without proper brushing, you’re placing yourself at risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and dental infection.
Most dentists recommend the Bass technique. Start by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth surfaces. Start brushing using gentle, circular strokes by pressing your toothbrush firmly against each tooth surface. Apply enough pressure to remove plaque particles, but don’t press too hard or you’ll damage your teeth. Once you’ve finished brushing a tooth surface, re-position the toothbrush onto the next surface. Continue until you’ve covered all teeth surfaces, including the ones against your tongue and in the back of your mouth. For an even cleaner mouth, brush your tongue at the end of your brushing routine.
Brushing too quickly won’t give you very good results. It’s important that you spend enough time to clean all teeth surfaces. We recommend that you spend about 2 minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly. Brushing your teeth too quickly leaves plaque on teeth surfaces and exposes you to cavities and gum disease. Ideally, you want to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. You may have to brush even more if you have high risk-factors, such as:
- You eat lots of sugary food, chocolates and/or sodas
- Dry mouth
- Advanced gum disease
- Crooked teeth with tight contacts that trap lots of plaque and tartar
- Medical conditions that affect oral health, such as diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome, GERD, etc.
Both manual and electric toothbrushes can be very effective, so long as you use them properly. The biggest advantage of an electric toothbrush is that the brush performs the oscillation motion for you automatically. This makes it easier to brush your teeth and cuts down on your effort. However, you still need to pay attention to cover each and ever tooth surface, brush for the recommended two minutes, and apply the right amount of pressure when brushing your teeth.
We recommend that you use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard bristles are abrasive and they damage your teeth and gums over time. Also be sure to switch out your toothbrush or the brushhead every 3 to 4 months. Using an old toothbrush or brushhead for a very long time exposes your teeth to harmful bacteria. Plus, worn out bristles become abrasive and damage your teeth and gums. If you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, we recommend Oral-B or Sonicare. If you choose to go with a manual toothbrush, we recommend using one from a proven brand with soft bristles.
If you have more questions about brushing your teeth we’ll be glad to answer them. Call us at (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online and we can review your brushing techniques. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will evaluate your brushing techniques and provide you with feedback. To learn more about other ways to keep your teeth healthy and clean, click on the following links: