Benjamin Franklin once observed that it’s easier to prevent bad habits than it is to break them. At Mark A. Miely DDS in Upper Arlington, we couldn’t agree more – especially when it comes to good dental health habits.
Brushing your teeth is an important part of any daily health care routine. We recommend brushing 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 to 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 a 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.
We mentioned using a gentle touch. 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. 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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