Did you know you could be brushing your teeth wrong? Turns out a simple back and forth or up and down motion doesn't completely get the job done the way you want it to. If you've ever brushed your teeth and then walked away still feeling fuzzy this is a classic sign that you might not be brushing your teeth correctly. While this might mean you're stuck with stinky breath, it has the potential to lead to worse damage like cavities or gum disease.
Like many things in life, it's all about technique – master proper brushing movement and you'll likely be the master of a winning smile.
We get it, brushing your teeth back and forth just makes good sense – but like we said before, it just doesn't cut it. Tooth brushing techniques are actually very particular – you want to hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums and then use short strokes moving at an up and down motion away from the gumline. Forget those long side to side strokes!
Make sure you've really worked around each tooth by brushing the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of both rows of teeth. Apply the right amount of pressure, you actually don't need to push down as much as you think, a lighter touch will do the job best as it keeps the bristles upright and sharp. It's also important to work those bristles into all the gaps in your teeth – this process shouldn't be hard if you're following the above motions though. Finally, you'll need to start including your tongue in your routine so you get rid of any lingering bacteria.
This isn't a philosophical life debate, when it comes to brushing your teeth, you can't skimp on time. You need to do at least two minutes – 120 seconds – of proper tooth brushing technique to walk away with a bright and clean smile. It's important to note that you don't need to brush your teeth more than twice a day, in fact that might be doing more harm than good. Too much action can wear down the outer layer of teeth and even damage your gums.
The right size brush is dependent on the size of your mouth.
At the end of the day (and in the morning, as you brush your teeth twice a day) the right technique is nothing if you don't have the right toothbrush! The right size brush is dependent on the size of your mouth. The bigger your mouth the bigger the brush. A small mouth, however, will not necessarily benefit from a bigger brush. If it's too big the bristles might not be able to get to all the nooks and crannies of your smile, and that's no good!
Part of keeping your toothbrush in tip-top shape comes from adequate storage – leaving it out on the sink exposes it to airborne germs, like the ones that are sent into the air when you flush the toilet. Keep your brush in a drawer, or better yet, move it to another room all together.
Perhaps a manual toothbrush isn't your thing – have you ever thought about trying out an electric toothbrush? This is a good solution for those who might be growing nervous about the consequences of poor technique as electronic brushes do all the work for you. It is certainly worth looking into.
If you need more tips on how to brush your teeth, or realise that it's about time you've had a professional teeth cleaning make an appointment with us at City Dentists today.