Today is National Brush Day, which is pretty exciting for us dentists. If you’re like most people, you don’t think much about brushing as it’s something you do every day. Doing it daily – at least twice a day – is important. But there are a few other things you can do to get the best results from your tooth brushing.
We are happy to discuss oral hygiene with you any time you come to our Glendale, AZ office for a checkup or other service. In the meantime, check out our five brushing tips:
- Take It Easy on Your Enamel – Tooth enamel is an incredibly hard substance. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged. Two of the most common ways to damage enamel are using a toothbrush with hard bristles and brushing too hard. Always select a brush with soft bristles and use a gentle touch. An electric brush can help you apply more even pressure. Damaged enamel makes you more prone to cavities and can give your teeth a yellowish appearance that can’t be corrected with whitening treatments.
- Spend at Least Two Minutes – If you brush at least twice a day, that is great. But you’re not getting the benefits you should if you rush it. Brush at least two minutes every time. Some toothbrushes have a timer feature, or you can use the timer on your phone. Music can make anything more entertaining, so you can also find some two-minute songs you like and cue them up when you brush.
- Take Good Care of Your Brush – To keep the bristles in good shape, you should switch to a new toothbrush every three or four months. Do it sooner if you notice fraying or obvious wear. To keep the brush as bacteria free as possible, give it a good rinse after using and store it upright where air can easily circulate around it.
- Brush All Over – Many people spend most of their time brushing the front sides and chewing surfaces of their teeth. Make sure you give attention to the back sides of teeth that face your tongue. Brushing your tongue (or using a scraper) is also a good idea, as bacteria accumulates on your tongue.
- Spit, Don’t Rinse – Instead of finishing with a rinse, just spit. This keeps fluoride on your teeth and gives it a chance to better do its work. This is an especially good idea when you brush at bedtime. That’s because you produce less saliva while you sleep, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to decay.
Tooth brushing is critical in having a healthy smile. But you should also see us twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Our cleanings remove built-up plaque from areas of your mouth you’ve missed at home. And exams give us a chance to identify problems in their earliest stages, when they are easiest to fix.