Brushing is something we are taught as small children and is used to remove food particles, residue, and plaque from teeth and gums. When these items are removed in a timely fashion, bacteria does not have the opportunity to cause cavities.
You will remember that brushing is recommended at least three times a day. Using a fluoride toothpaste morning and night may allow you to forego the mid-day brushing. If you don’t brush after lunch, at least rinse with clear water for at least 30 seconds.
Each person’s teeth are different and there are several techniques recommended. Here are some of them:
- Using a circular motion, brush two or three teeth at a time. Work your way around the entire set.
- Place the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush in a circle. Scrubbing side to side and down can wear the tooth structure and can make the gums recede or expose the tooth’s root. Brush the whole tooth, front, back, top, and between. Rocking the brush back and forth will gently remove any plaque.
- Clean the whole mouth. Brush gums, roof, and floor of the mouth, as well as the tongue.
- Replace the toothbrush when the bristles begin to spread. A worn toothbrush does not perform the job that needs to be done.
- Take at least three minutes to brush. Any less time and you are shortchanging yourself.