tooth brushing

Top 5 Tooth Brushing Tips to Follow

When you think about tooth brushing, do you believe the sole purpose is for a whiter smile? While brushing does reduce tooth stains, it plays a vital role in your overall dental health. Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to oral diseases such as cavities and mouth cancer.

Scientific evidence also shows that gum disease contributes to systemic diseases. This includes heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Poor oral health in pregnant women is also linked to low birth weights and premature births.

Practicing good tooth brushing improves your smile and keeps you healthy. Continue reading to learn the best tips.

How Dental Care Promotes Healthy Teeth

The teeth and gums are mainly comprised of calcium. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your gums and teeth become weak and can’t resist damage. 

Vitamin D plays a key role in helping our bodies absorb calcium. Vitamin C deficiencies can lead to gum bleeding and loose teeth. You may need to take supplements to get the amount of these vitamins required.

When sugar stays in the mouth, it combines with bacteria and forms an acid. This acid eats away at your tooth’s outer layer (enamel) and lets bacteria in to form cavities. Eating foods with less sugar and especially those that stick to your teeth reduces this risk.

One of our body’s natural defenses against bacteria in the mouth is saliva. Eating foods such as lemons, cherries, limes, and cranberries increases saliva production.

Drinking plenty of water, especially after eating or drinking, helps wash away particles. It also increases saliva and cleanses your mouth. High-water content foods dilute the sugars and prevent the build of plaque and tartar.

Plaque is a mixture of starchy, sugary food that sticks to your teeth. If it’s not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When left on the teeth, gum diseases (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss can occur.

Best Practices for Tooth Brushing

The purpose of proper tooth brushing is to remove plaque and reduce tartar buildup. Proper oral health care includes regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings. The hygienist removes the tartar that you can’t get rid of and keeps you healthy.

The following provides important tips to ensure that you’re correctly brushing your teeth.

1. Brush Twice a Day

Bacteria builds up fast in your mouth. Thus, dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day. Leaving bacteria on the teeth for over 24 hours promotes tooth damage and bad breath.

When you sleep, your body makes less saliva. Thus, any food debris on the teeth can cause more damage during this time.

That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth when you first get up. This removes the bacteria and acid that built up while you were sleeping.

Brushing your teeth before going to sleep reduces the food debris in your mouth. This decreases the sugars available for the bacteria to use.

2. Brush Teeth for Two Minutes

How long do you think you spend brushing your teeth? Studies have shown that most people brush for about 45 seconds. One study compared the effectiveness of plaque removal when brushing for 45 vs 120 seconds.

The results showed a statistically significant improvement in removing plaque after 120 seconds. Based on this evidence, dental professionals recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes. This offers the best method for removing plaque and reducing tartar buildup.

3. Use a Fluoride Toothpaste

Drinking water and many foods contain the natural mineral, fluoride. Yet, the amount found in water differs from one area to the next.

Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth enamel to resist bacteria and acid damage. Thus, it protects your teeth and gums from decay and disease.

Dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste to ensure your teeth get the amount needed. Another lesser known tip is to spit but not rinse after using this toothpaste. This lets the fluoride stay on your teeth longer.

4. How to Brush Teeth and Optimize Plaque Removal

Okay, you’ve been brushing your teeth for as long as you can remember. But are you making the most of this practice? Let’s review the best technique for removing plaque.

Gently brush all sides of your teeth in a back and forth or circular motion at a 45-degree angle. Tilt the brush up, and use its tip to reach the inner surfaces of your front teeth.

For most people, it’s best to choose a toothbrush with medium bristles. These offer enough stiffness to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth. Yet, they won’t damage your teeth or gums.

5. Don’t Ignore Your Back Teeth

Many people have trouble getting to their back teeth. If you still have your wisdom teeth, this can present an even greater challenge. Some people assume that brushing all their other teeth is good enough.

Unfortunately, their placement can increase their risk for plaque and tartar buildup. Your tongue may not brush over them as often, which helps knock off food debris. They may also be misaligned so that their surface pushes against other teeth.

It’s very important to pay attention to this unseen and often neglected part of your mouth. If you’re having trouble getting to your back teeth, talk to your dental hygienist. They may recommend using a small specialized toothbrush to reach this area.

Are You Looking for a Dentist Near You?

You’ve learned important tips to optimize your tooth brushing methods. Justice Dental in Lexington, KY works with patients to achieve the best oral health. Our hygienists, dentists, surgeons, and dental specialists understand the impact of mouth pain.

We offer general and cosmetic dentistry with a sedation option as needed. The expert team also provides mouthguards, dental implants, and full mouth reconstruction.

Justice Dental focuses on your comfort, appearance, and oral hygiene. Our goal is to help you to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. Get in touch today to start your journey to better oral health.