Tooth Brushing- How To
I’m going to provide some tips and advice on how to make tooth brushing work for you. Done right brushing your teeth will help you control bacteria accumulation. This in turn reduces or eliminates your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Both of these are preventable illnesses that increase your risks for many other systemic diseases. Diseases like heart disease, respiratory illness, cancer etc. Bet you never knew brushing your teeth was so important.
Tooth brushing is not about removing food debris. “Brush after every meal” is old news. And even worse it can be damaging. The protein and mineral layer that wraps protectively around teeth is your barrier against acids. It is also the source of minerals necessary for remineralization. If you brush it away each time you eat your teeth are more susceptible to acid attack, erosion and sensitivity. The how you are brushing and the when you are brushing can be even more important than the if.
In general most people should brush 2x a day. The bacteria in your mouth needs to be disrupted a minimum of 1x in 24hrs to prevent disease. Left longer than 24hrs allows colonization or organization of these germs which starts both decay and gingivitis. I recommend you brush first thing in the morning before breakfast and last thing at night after that late night snack. Minimal pressure is necessary…think of wiping a surface clean not scrubbing. Teeth need to be cleaned and gums massaged. Here is a basic how to with a manual toothbrush.
Keep in mind everyone is different. Your dental care provider should provide you with the best recommendations for YOU and YOUR NEEDS.
Simple Changes to Make Tooth brushing Work for You
Let’s start here. When did you last have someone demonstrate how to brush? Or have you ever? Brushing technique is often something that began at age 3 and has become a habit. But is your brushing habit effective? Answering that question is simple. Do you experience tooth decay, moderate stain or tender bleeding gums? If the answer is yes we need to modify your technique.
- Start somewhere different when you brush your teeth. Do you start on the left, right, back or front? Make where ever you typically start the last place you brush. This makes you think about your tooth brushing. Mindfulness during any activity will naturally make it more effective.
- Don’t use toothpaste. I know right…that’s just crazy. Here is a secret…your brush cleans your teeth not the paste. Run your tongue over your teeth right now. Are they clean? You can feel when you’ve effectively disrupted that bacteria. They will feel smooth and clean. Believe it or not toothpaste can interfere with that feeling. The mint or other flavoring agent can numb your tongue. And the foam gets in the way of that feeling. Brush first with just water or dry. Feel your teeth with your tongue and then if you feel the need add your toothpaste for the minty fresh feeling.
- Change your brush style. Sticking to the same kind of brush ensures that your technique doesn’t change. Changing the style of brush you use will help you make a transition. Find a bigger handle or try something angled. Even better go from manual brush to electric brush or vice versa. Any of these changes can make your brushing more effective.
- Be mindful when you brush! Stop and think about the act don’t just do it. Try not to be doing other things at the same time as brushing your teeth. Pay attention to how your brush feels in each area of the mouth.
Keeping your teeth and mouth healthy throughout your life are imperative for good health and longevity. If you have questions about your tooth brushing technique or how to improve your oral health I’m your girl! Call me at 519-736-1100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I always welcome comments and questions!