Understanding proper brushing technique is important for your oral health, especially if you are teaching young ones how to brush and want to establish life-long good habits. Whether you need a refresher yourself or your little one is starting to brush on his or her own, we have some great tips here to get you started!
Technique. For most people, a circular technique or elliptical motion is best. Holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, brush the outside and inside of your teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and areas between your teeth. Brush a couple of teeth at a time and gradually work your way around your entire mouth. Avoid using a back and forth motion, as it can cause the gum line to recede, expose the root surface and make the root tender.
How Long? Brushing for 2 to 4 minutes is ideal. If you listen to the radio while you brush, this is the average length of a song! Otherwise, use a timer or stop watch to make sure you don’t rush the job on busy mornings. Purchasing a fun egg timer can be a great way to encourage children to brush.
How Often? Because longer brushing time ensures a more thorough cleaning, it is better to brush for a full 2 to 4 minutes twice a day than for a shorter duration more than twice. If you use a toothpaste with fluoride in the morning and evening, you won’t need to brush in between.
Type and Storage. A tooth brush head should be small enough to comfortably reach all of your teeth and should have a good handle for an easy grip. The bristles should be soft and nylon with round ends. If they are too abrasive, they can wear down your teeth. To avoid bacteria build up, rinse and dry your tooth brush after each use and store it in a travel container. Replace your brush every three months.
Toddler Tooth Brushing. As soon as your child’s teeth start coming in, they need to be brushed. Traditional tooth brushes may not be safe for toddlers because they can be inserted too far into the mouth. Thankfully, most grocery stores and pharmacies now sell toothbrushes and toothpaste that are specially designed to be safe for toddlers.
Because we brush our teeth so regularly, we often cut corners without even realizing it. This can lead to cavities and gum disease over time. To improve your oral health, make sure you pay attention to your tooth brushing habits and make the most of this simple but effective tool for preventing dental problems!