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How to Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth, when combined with flossing, is an excellent way to beat tooth decay, but the effectiveness of brushing varies depending on your technique. Try these techniques the next time you brush.
Use a 45-Degree Angle
A 45-degree angle help you make sure that you clean both your teeth and gums. Use a back-and-forth motion and concentrate on on one tooth at a time. Choose a soft bristle brush with a head that's small enough to easily reach your back teeth.
Be a Clock Watcher
Dentists recommend brushing for two minutes to ensure that you clean every nook and cranny of your teeth. Brush the chewing surfaces, fronts and backs of your teeth. Take a few seconds to brush your tongue at the end of your brushing routine. If you have children or you are a kid at heart, make brushing more fun by buying brushes that play music for two minutes.
Follow a Pattern
You will not miss any spots if you follow the same pattern every time you brush. It does not matter where you start and end, as long as you brush your teeth the same way every time.
Your toothbrush is a crucial tool in the fight against tooth decay, but failing to care for your brush properly could compromise your oral and general health. Following a few important brush care basics will help you keep your smile bright and healthy.
Do Not Turn Your Toothbrush into a Breeding Ground for Germs
Germs, bacteria and fungus thrive in moist conditions. Don't let them invade your brush. Rinse it with water after you use it, store it upright in an open container and give it time to dry before you use it again. If you are traveling and plan to put your toothbrush in a closed container, let it dry thoroughly before you put it in its carrying case.
Choose a holder that provides plenty of separation between tooth brushes. If a family member or roommate is sick, and your brushes touch, germs could spread from his or her brush to yours. Have you ever recovered from an illness but gotten sick again soon after you recovered? Your new illness could have occurred because the germs that caused your first illness remained in your toothbrush. After you've been sick or suffered from any time of mouth infection, it's a good idea to begin using a new brush.
When you share a toothbrush, you expose yourself to all of the germs and bacteria present in the brush owner's mouth. Although you may feel good about sharing, you will not feel so great if you come down with a cold or the flu. Keep a few extra toothbrushes on hand so you always have a spare if a visitor forgets to bring a brush.
Replace Your Toothbrush Often
Most of us tend to hold on to our toothbrushes much longer than we should. When toothbrush bristles start to wear down, they do not remove cavity-causing plaque from your teeth as well as they once did. Using an old toothbrush can also be painful, particularly if the bristles have become so frayed and worn that they irritate your gums. Dentists recommend using a new toothbrush every three months, but if the bristles on your brush are frayed or no longer seem to be as effective in cleaning your teeth, replace your brush even sooner.
Strange things can happen to toothbrushes. They fall in the toilet or the dog licks them. If your brush is exposed to toilet water, dog saliva or any other germ-laden surface, throw it out. Although you can try to sanitize it, removing those germs can be harder than you think. It's best to start over with a new brush.
Keep your teeth pearly white by brushing twice a day and visiting your dentist twice a year. Is it time for your next dental exam? Give us a call and we'll help you make your next appointment.
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