Start the new year right and improve your brushing habits with these 8 tips for a bright, white smile.
Don’t Brush Your Teeth Too Hard
Be gentle with your teeth while brushing. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and bacteria, but a gentle brushing is all that you need. Too much pressure may damage your gums.
Make Sure That You Brush Long Enough
You should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice per day. Most of us fall short —the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. If you’re racing to brush your teeth, try setting a timer. Or perhaps listen to your favorite song!
Brushing Your Teeth After Eating
If you feel the need to clean your teeth after eating or drinking, wait at least 60 minutes, especially if you had acidic foods and/or drinks. You can drink water or chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to help clean your mouth while you are waiting to brush.
How to Brush Your Teeth Correctly
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Lastly, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Below are tips about your toothbrush from types of toothbrushes and bristles to when to how often you should change your toothbrush.
When to Change Your Toothbrush
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Make a resolution to change your toothbrush with every season this year. Frayed and broken bristles are signs that it’s time to get a new brush. When you’re shopping for a new brush, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Types of Toothbrushes
There are many toothbrushes that can leave your teeth fresh and clean, including manual and electric brushes. Both clean the teeth. Try different types until you find a toothbrush that you are comfortable with. An electric toothbrush can be easier to hold and does some of the work for you if you have trouble brushing. No matter which brush you choose, remember that it’s not all about the brush—a clean mouth is really up to the brusher!
Hard or Soft Toothbrush Bristles
Soft bristles are a safe bet for brushing your teeth. Remember to be gentle, especially where your gums and teeth meet, as you brush. Talk to your dentist about what kind of toothbrush is best for you.
Storing Your Toothbrush
When you are done brushing your teeth, keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow.
With these tips in mind, start the new year with these brushing habits that will give you a clean and bright smile!