As little kids, our mom or dad put a toothbrush in our hands and told to brush our teeth. Unfortunately, more often than not we are never really shown how to brush properly. Then we make a visit to the dentist and we're told we aren't doing as good a job as we could with brushing, and what areas we need to work on improving.
Surprisingly, our Troy Dentist has found that most patients don't really know how to brush properly. In fact, many people have a lot of misconceptions about the proper way to brush their teeth.
Misconception 1: Harder bristles will get my teeth clean faster....
You actually need to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Believe it or not, a soft bristled toothbrush removes plaque easier than a harder bristled brush, especially below the gum line, where gum disease starts
Misconception 2: I need to use a lot of toothpaste.
Only a very small amount (pea size) of toothpaste is necessary. It is also a good idea to use toothpaste that contains fluoride because it can help to strengthen the outer enamel of your teeth.
Misconception 3: If I brush really hard and really fast, I will get all of the plaque off.
You need to brush slowly for at least 2 minutes. It is a good idea to use a timer, especially with children. Applying gentle pressure while vibrating the gums in small circular motions and only brushing one or two teeth at a time will actually remove more plaque than brushing hard and fast.
Hold the toothbrush loosely at a 45 degree angle and brush the outside of the teeth first, then the inside and then the chewing surfaces.
Misconception 4: I didn’t know that I needed to brush my tongue and the roof of my mouth.
Brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth helps to remove germs and keep your breath fresh.
Misconception 5: I only need to brush my teeth twice a day.
We do recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. However, to remove plaque effectively, you should brush after every meal.
Do you have more questions about proper brushing technique? If so, our Troy Dentist is here for you—feel free to contact us at Excellence in Dentistry!