Posted on: January 25, 2021
The Basics of Brushing Your Teeth
You probably already know that brushing and flossing your teeth daily are essential activities that promote good oral health. After a while, though, you might not be paying close attention while you’re brushing, which can lead to making mistakes and expensive dental problems down the line. So, here’s a refresher on the benefits of brushing, why dedicating time to your oral health is important, and the best techniques to add to your routine.
The Benefits of Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth should be an essential part of your daily routine. There are many reasons why it’s crucial to take good care of your oral health. Some of these reasons may seem obvious, but some of the others might surprise you. Explore these benefits of regular brushing and flossing.
Prevent Plaque Buildup
Plaque is a sticky film that covers our teeth. Everyone has plaque, and it’s constantly developing on our teeth throughout the day. Plaque is loaded with bacteria, and every time you eat sugar or starch, the bacteria in plaque release acids that damage your tooth enamel. If this happens repeatedly, your enamel will weaken and break down, which leads to cavities.
You can remove plaque by brushing daily and flossing between your teeth, but if it’s not removed, it can eventually harden into a substance called tartar, or calculus. Tartar is usually yellow in color and can only be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist.
Prevent Gum Disease and Periodontitis
If tartar accumulates above the gumline, it creates an inflammatory response, resulting in swollen, red gum tissue that bleeds easily when brushing or flossing. These symptoms are some of the earliest signs of gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease.
If gum disease isn’t treated early, it can progress to periodontitis. This is a severe gum infection in which the gum tissue starts to separate from your teeth. Over time, it can weaken and destroy bone, leading to tooth loss.
Every time you brush and floss, you’re removing harmful plaque, bacteria, and food particles that can damage your enamel and lead to cavities. To prevent the acid in plaque from harming your teeth, try to brush your teeth shortly after eating. If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, it’s important to rinse your mouth with water to eliminate food particles.
Reduce Your Risk of Serious Health Problems
If you have gum disease or periodontitis, the bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream, increasing your risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. Periodontitis can also result in high blood sugar, increasing your risk of diabetes, and making it more difficult to control your blood sugar if you already have diabetes.
Maintain Fresh Breath
To eliminate the bacteria that result in bad breath, don’t forget to brush your tongue after you’re finished brushing your teeth. You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash to kill the germs that result in bad breath.
By brushing and flossing every day, in addition to seeing your dentist regularly, it’s possible to prevent serious dental problems from happening in the future. This can save you money by helping you avoid costly procedures and treatments.
Brushing and Flossing to Improve Oral Health
Now that we’ve covered the many benefits associated with brushing your teeth regularly, it’s time to brush up on dental care basics so you can start enjoying these advantages. Make these oral care basics a part of your dental care routine:
Brush Twice a Day
Did you know that you’re supposed to brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time? Many of us don’t brush our teeth for that long, which means that your teeth aren’t as clean as they should be. Brushing at least twice a day, usually in the morning and again at night helps reduce plaque and bacteria.
Use the Right Technique While Brushing
Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle, typically at a 45-degree angle. Try to aim the bristles of your toothbrush close to where your teeth meet the gums. Short, circular, and back-and-forth motions are the most effective way to remove plaque and food particles. Don’t forget to brush all the surfaces of your teeth, including the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces. Make sure you’re brushing gently and avoid using hard pressure since this can damage your gum tissue.
Don’t Forget to Floss
It’s important to floss your teeth once a day. Flossing removes plaque and food particles in between your teeth and is an important step towards achieving a healthy mouth.
Use the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Find a toothpaste that’s right for you, but make sure it contains fluoride and is approved by the ADA. We recommend buying a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably and allows you to reach your entire mouth. Some research has shown that a battery-powered or electric toothbrush can reduce plaque and improve gingivitis more than manual brushing.
Replace Your Toothbrush
You should replace your toothbrush every three months or even sooner if the bristles start showing signs of wear or become frayed. Don’t wait to replace your toothbrush because an old or frayed toothbrush is less effective at removing plaque and food particles.
Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
Always rinse your toothbrush with water after you’re finished brushing. Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air dry before you use it again. Never keep your toothbrush in a closed container because this encourages the growth of bacteria and mold.
Talk To Your Dentist
For more information about proper brushing and flossing habits, call our office today to make an appointment. Our team of caring professionals can help you improve your oral care routine, select a toothbrush, or find the right toothpaste for you. We also encourage you to make an appointment twice a year for a dental cleaning and exam.