Am I Brushing Correctly?

Ever since we were kids, we were told to brush our teeth… but not much beyond that. Sometimes you would be told to brush twice a day and others it was supposed to be after every meal. Some people will say that you can’t use fluoride-based toothpaste and others still think there is only one specific brand that works. With so much conflicting information, it is no wonder that most adults today do not brush their teeth correctly.

Is there a “best way” to brush your teeth?

The American Dental Association (ADA) is a respected group of professionals, scientists, and advocates who have dedicated their lives and careers to the healthy upkeep of mouths nationwide. According to their research, publications, and collective consensus, there actually is an ideal way to brush your teeth.

First of all, you will want a soft-bristled brush that is as small as you can find. The easier the brush is to manipulate, the better, so you don’t want anything that is bumping against the inside of your cheek. Brushes with firmer or coarser bristles are generally not a good idea, since mishandling them can actually hurt your gums or wear away your enamel. Yes, some people swear by coarse bristles; but the ADA does not.

Once you find a proper brush that works for you – did you remember to get it in your favorite color? – you should be brushing twice a day. The obvious daily routine is once in the morning and once at night to ensure there aren’t long periods of time where bacteria or food particles are left on your teeth. If you keep to this routine, you should also replace your brush about once every three months, as well as after having a serious cold or congestion; otherwise, bacteria will pile up on the brush and the bristles will become frayed and useless.

This Is How You Should Be Brushing Your Teeth

  1. Wet the brush and apply a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste
  2. Position the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums (specific but ideal)
  3. Move the brush in short strokes (about the length of one tooth)
  4. Start with the outer surfaces, then the inner, and finish with the chewing surfaces
  5. Don’t forget the inside surface of your front teeth
  6. Continue or repeat all steps until at least 2 minutes has gone by

While not necessarily tooth-related, it is highly advised that you finish your brushing by gently scrubbing your tongue. This will remove any excess bacteria or build-up and freshen your breath more than most mouthwashes. And, of course, be sure to floss afterwards.

Remember to Floss, Too!

Even people who brush their teeth religiously forget or choose not to floss. It is a common misconception that brushing your teeth two or three times a day is “enough,” but the truth is that flossing is a vital part of dental hygiene. It removes plaque and food debris, and also helps prevent gum disease.

Here are the steps to proper flossing, which should be performed at least once a day:

  • Use about 18 inches of dental floss each time
  • Hold the floss firmly between the thumb and forefinger of both hands, with about 1-2 inches stretched between your hands
  • Slide floss gently up and down between each of your teeth
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth
  • Move gradually to clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  • Discard used floss when you’re done

Visit a Dentist in Montrose, CA Today

If you have any questions about proper brushing – or if you require any dental work or cleaning – please do not hesitate to call our dedicated team at AG Dental Studio at (818) 532.5565 today. For years, Dr. Aznavour has been providing comprehensive, high-quality dental services to the people of Montrose and Glendale, earning himself a respected reputation and the happiest clients with the brightest smiles around.

Set an appointment with our friendly staff to find out what all the chatter is about!