You’ve been doing it since you were five. You switch to autopilot morning and night and get it over with. But Designer Smiles in Fargo has a question: are you doing it right?
We ask this in all seriousness. There is always room for improvement, even in something as basic as brushing your teeth.
Essential Dental Health
Brushing, after all, is an important part of any daily dental health routine. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, and with a soft-bristled toothbrush. We strongly recommend flossing, too. Before or after you brush? The jury remains out on that one. We think before is better, but the most important thing is that you do it.
Be sure to get all over your teeth: the front and the sides, inside and out, and the tops. When you do the sides, be sure you brush along the gumline. Use a gentle touch, and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.
As you do the front and side surfaces, move the brush in gentle, circular strokes.
Use a pea-sized blob of fluoridated toothpaste – or more than pea-sized, if you’re so inclined. Too much toothpaste is no big deal, but be sure to use enough.
Be sure the head of the toothbrush isn’t too big, especially if you have a smaller mouth. It needs to fit easily between your cheeks and gums. The handle is less important. Make sure it feels comfortable in your hand. Replace your toothbrush every three months, if not more often.
Plaque is soft and loose, so you don’t have to scrub very hard to remove it. Think of it not so much as brushing, but massaging your teeth and gums. With that in mind you should you be able to keep that light touch.
Finally, brush for at least two minutes. If you’re running late, and are tempted to cut it short, resist. If it helps, use a stopwatch. You’ve probably got one on your smart phone.
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