You’ve likely been hearing it all your life… “brush twice a day and floss regularly.” Surely that means you’ll have strong teeth and healthy gums, right?
It’s Oral Health Month, and we want to remind you that when it comes to good oral hygiene, it all starts with a toothbrush. But here’s the thing… a lot of us are brushing wrong and may not even know it.
Do the following for a healthy and happy smile:
Do: Choose the right size toothbrush and make sure it is soft-bristled. Hard is not better… in fact, a hard-bristled toothbrush can injure gum tissue and ultimately cause recession.
Do: Use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride prevents and also reverses tooth decay in its early stages.
Do: Brush up and down or in circular motions. Brushing horizontally can cause abrasions at your gum line. Simply hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and brush up and down or in circular motions, making sure to get all surfaces of your teeth.
Do: Brush for 2 minutes/2 times per day. Many of today’s electric toothbrushes have a timer that alerts you every 30 seconds to move to a different quadrant of your mouth. Try one out sometime!
Do: Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles become warn down. To make it easy, line it up with the seasons or holidays and you’ll never forget.
Do: Let your toothbrush dry out after each use. This will cut down on bacteria growth.
Do: Floss at least once a day. Flossing removes plaque and food particles that get stuck between your teeth.
If you’re doing any of the following… Don’t:
Don’t: Brush your teeth right after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages. Wait at least 30 minutes so that the acid doesn’t soften enamel or the tooth’s structure.
Don’t: Share your toothbrush. Even if you’re family, it’s not a good idea as it can spread germs and gum disease.
Don’t: Let your toddler swallow toothpaste. Young children need an adult’s guidance when developing good brushing habits and technique, so be sure to show them.
Don’t: Brush too often or too hard. It’s possible to brush too much — which can irritate gums and teeth by exposing the root of the tooth; or too hard — which will erode tooth enamel.
The simple things you do everyday can affect the health of your smile. Don’t fall into a routine of bad habits and be sure to visit your dentist on a regular basis. A cleaning and exam every six months is the best way to keep your smile healthy and avoid expensive and even painful procedures down the road.
Dr. Potts is a gentle, caring dentist uses the most advanced materials and procedures available. He practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry, with a strong emphasis on getting to know each patient. In addition technical proficiency, Dr. Potts is a careful listener. He makes sure to understand what you want and will explain beforehand what treatment is best for your individual needs, along with all options available to you.