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Brush Up on the Benefits of Brushing

Most of us have been brushing our teeth for so long that we take our brushing skills for granted. However, as with any other skills, sometimes a refresher course can be helpful. Family dentists can provide helpful brushing tips to restore your good dental health. Consider the following tips to restore your good oral health and maintain your smile in the best condition possible. If you have additional questions, be sure to get in touch with one of our dental professionals.

Why Is Brushing Your Teeth So Important?

Your teeth are more than an aesthetic addition to your mouth. They’re the first stage of your digestive system, they help maintain the structure of your jaw and your face, and they help you speak clearly.

When your teeth aren’t maintained in good condition through regular brushing and flossing, they begin to erode and decay, which can cause infection and disease. Good oral hygiene is essential for overall good health, and poor oral hygiene has been linked to many serious physical diseases. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can encourage good oral health, but good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

What Are the Consequences of Plaque?

After you eat or drink, particularly foods and beverages that are high in sugars and carbohydrates, a sticky substance called plaque forms in your mouth. Plaque is loaded with bacteria that must be removed. Otherwise, it settles between your teeth and in the crevices between your teeth and gums, and it begins to form decay.

When not removed through brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, the plaque begins to turn into calculus, a very hard substance that only a dentist can remove. When plaque remains, it irritates your gums and generates acid that begins to erode your tooth enamel. At this point, you’ll probably have swollen, red gums that are very sensitive and painful. This is the beginning of gingivitis and should be addressed without delay.

When gingivitis isn’t treated, it becomes periodontal disease, which can destroy your teeth, gums, and jawbone. It will also cause facial distortion. Periodontal and gingival disease can adversely affect your physical health and have been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and stroke. Amazingly, this can all be easily prevented by brushing and flossing regularly and properly.

What Are Proper Brushing Habits for Healthy Teeth?

Although your dentist can provide you with hints and helps for proper brushing, only you can implement the information in a regimen of good oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends following these instructions to maximize your oral care regimen and get the best outcomes for your teeth and gums:

  • Brush frequently: Brushing a minimum of twice daily for two minutes each time will contribute to the best oral health possible. Ideally, you should brush and floss after each meal, but this isn’t always feasible. If you can’t brush and floss, then rinse your mouth well with clear water and swish it around. This will help eliminate the bacteria and acid that will cause decay.
  • Brush every tooth: Although this may seem to be a given, some of your teeth may be more difficult to reach, but they should receive the same attention as the easier-to-reach teeth. If one or more teeth are sensitive, be sure to brush them as well. This usually indicates an infection, so sensitive teeth should receive extra attention. If you need to see a dentist, then call our Philadelphia office for an appointment.
  • Toothbrush options: Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush that fits comfortably. You need a toothbrush that’s firm enough to remove the food particles but soft enough that it doesn’t damage your tooth enamel. Battery-operated toothbrushes are now recommended because they’re better at removing plaque and gingivitis. If you’re unsure, ask your dentist.
  • Toothpaste: Use a toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association seal of approval.
  • Technique: Mentally divide your mouth into four areas and brush each area for 30 seconds. Be sure to adequately brush the inside, bottom, and outside of each tooth. Your toothbrush should be at an angle, and you should use gentle pressure with short, back-and-forth motions.
  • Tongue: In addition to brushing your teeth, you should brush your tongue as well. The rough surface of your tongue is a haven for germs and bacteria, so be sure to keep it clean.
  • Motion: You can also use a circular motion rather than an up-and-down motion, but be sure to maintain gentle pressure so that you don’t damage your tooth enamel.
  • Timing: Your brushing session should last for at least two minutes to optimally clean your teeth.
  • Equipment: Make sure to adequately clean your toothbrush after each use. Store it upright and let it air dry. Avoid storing it in a closed container or covering your wet toothbrush as this can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Replacement: Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months, sooner if you’ve been ill or if the bristles are worn.
  • Flossing: Brushing can’t reach all the crevices that dental floss can, so be sure you floss whenever you brush, or before bedtime at a minimum.
  • Rinsing: Any residual bacteria that remain can be removed through the use of an antibacterial mouthwash that’s approved by the American Dental Association.
  • Order: It doesn’t matter whether you brush first or floss first, as long as you do both.
  • Checkups: No matter how excellent your oral hygiene regimen, you should have regular dental checkups and cleanings. Semi-annual appointments are best, but you should have annual appointments at a minimum. Your dentist can spot potential problems that you may have missed, so the combined effort can provide the best results.

Can I Brush My Way to Healthy Teeth And Gums?

Although we all take our brushing skills for granted, brushing correctly and often can be the deciding factor in your lifelong good oral health. It will keep your teeth in the best condition and will help you avoid problems with your physical health, so get started today.

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