If you are like most people, you probably have been brushing your teeth the same way your entire life. But are you doing it the right way?
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth using short, back and forth (tooth-wide) strokes. This helps clean the surfaces of the teeth, removing any food particles, debris, or stains.
Follow up these strokes by cleaning the spaces between your teeth using up-and-down strokes.
Thorough Cleaning Twice Daily
The ADA also recommends that your teeth at least twice per day, such as once in the morning when you get up and once before you get to bed This helps remove food particles and other debris that can remain on or between your teeth.
When these food particles begin to deteriorate, they can damage the enamel of the teeth. Trapped food particles also can give you bad breath.
When brushing, make sure to get all of the surfaces of your teeth, including the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces. Follow up your teeth brushing with flossing to remove trapped food particles between the teeth.
Types of Toothbrushes
For most people, a soft-bristled brush is appropriate for regular brushing. Make sure to replace your toothbrush at least every three or four months to maintain the integrity and sanitation of the brush surfaces.
If the brush becomes frayed, you can replace it more frequently. When toothbrushes become worn, they are less effective at cleaning your teeth.
Finally, you want to be sure to use a toothpaste that includes fluoride. Look on the label for the ADA seal of approval, which most major brands have.
You only get one set of permanent teeth. Taking care of them by brushing twice daily and flossing will help ensure you can keep your smile for many years to come.