You may think teeth brushing is pretty straightforward. You may think you’re doing a stellar job. You may be wrong. In fact, most people simply don’t brush their teeth correctly, and yes, there is a proper technique to follow. Most people don’t brush for long enough, or they don’t use the right technique.

This is why routine teeth cleanings in Piedmont are critical. When you visit the dentist, they can use this time to reinforce proper technique and thoroughly clean the areas you have been neglecting over the last six months. But proper brushing begins and is sustained at home, so here are some tips on how to brush your teeth the right way.

Incentives to Proper Brushing

To begin, you should know and understand the incentives to regularly and properly brushing your teeth, as well as when and how to brush. Every time you have a snack or a drink, pieces of food and residue stick to your teeth and gums, which leads to debris and bacteria that can turn into a sticky film called plaque. This can calcify if you leave it on your teeth for too long. Hardened plaque is called calculus, and it can’t be simply removed with a toothbrush, according to Harvard Health.

Bacteria thrive and release acids in this calculus, resulting in cavities and the break-down of enamel. This will welcome bacteria into the root of the tooth, toward the nerve and jaw bone. If left untreated, an infection can result. That’s not even the worst part: that bacteria will then be free to make its way to other body parts, such as the brain, heart, and lungs.

Plaque-related bacteria wreaks other havoc, too, irritating and infecting your gums, then damaging gum tissue, ligaments, and your jaw bone. If neglected, tooth loss can occur over time.

The hard truth is that poor dental health can lead to heart problems, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and osteoporosis.

Getting the Right Toothbrush

The type of toothbrush you get can make a difference. You may be a bit overwhelmed when browsing the toothbrush aisle of the store, with options ranging from simple plastic sticks and bristles to spinning battery-operated versions. The amount of money or fancy type of toothbrush you get doesn’t really make the difference when it comes right down to it: but the way you use it does.

Even a quality brush with all the bells and whistles won’t do you any good if you’re not using it right. It could be leaving behind a lot of plaque if you don’t use the right brushing technique to go with it. Keep these things in mind when selecting a brush:

  • Go with a toothbrush you think you will like and that you will use regularly.
  • Make sure the size and shape fits your mouth so you can reach all areas easily.
  • Choose bristles by gum health, choosing soft bristles if you have sensitive gums, and hard bristles if your gums are not sensitive.Pick up a new toothbrush every few months or after you have been sick.

11 Technique Guidelines

Despite the kind of brush you ultimately choose, always brush and floss after eating, and especially before bed. Here are some guidelines:

  1. Angle the brush, aiming the bristles toward the gums as they meet your teeth. This is a common collection area for plaque and calculus. Instead of a 90-degree angle, you want a 45-degree angle.
  2. Brush for two minutes, dividing the time among all areas of your teeth: upper left and right, followed by lower left and right. Do this for 30 seconds per section.
  3. Buy ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  4. Make circles, rotating the bristles in a gentle sweeping motion to ensure debris is grabbed at the gum line.
  5. Don’t press too hard because you’ll irritate or injure your gums.
  6. Brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  7. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, which has lots of bacteria.
  8. Don’t be distracted as you brush, which can take your focus away.
  9. Rinse your mouth and brush to wash away toothpaste and food debris.
  10. Observe your gums to make sure you got all the food particles, making sure your gums are not red or swollen.
  11. Eat a balanced diet that limits sugary snacks and beverages.

Still a bit confused about brushing technique? Practice without toothpaste first. Then, schedule – and attend – cleanings every six months with your dental hygienist in Piedmont. Your dentist will check your mouth at each visit to make sure all looks well and to check for possible signs of oral cancer.

Schedule Your Six-Month Cleaning at Piedmont Oaks Dental

If it’s coming up on your six-month cleaning, don’t ignore this visit on your calendar. At this visit, we not only clean your teeth but can identify areas of neglect and concern that you can work on throughout the year. Call us to book your appointment at (510) 654-6523. We are located at 1345 Grand Ave. Suite 103 in Piedmont, CA and our hours are Mon – Thu 8am to 5pm and Fridays 8am to 1pm.