For most of us, it is not difficult to maintain good oral health – other than visiting the dentist twice a year for professional cleaning, you are recommended to brush your teeth two times a day, for at least two minutes each time.
Here are five tips to help you brush effectively:
1) Choose the right type of toothbrush
The recommended type of toothbrush to use is those with soft bristles. Medium or hard brushes are more likely to wear off your teeth enamel and cause receding gums. This gives rise to other issues such as sensitive teeth, yellowness (tooth enamel is eroded and exposes the dentine which is yellowish) and higher risk of tooth decay.
2) Check the way you brush
Treat your teeth and gums in a tender and loving manner when brushing, that means don’t brush too hard like you’re scrubbing your toilet floor. Angle your toothbrush at 30 to 45 degrees to your teeth so that it is touching your gum tissues, then gently brush in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.
When brushing the back of your teeth, position your toothbrush in a vertical manner so that the bristles come in contact with the entire tooth.
Remember to brush the back teeth thoroughly as well. Though it may be less visible, it is the part of our mouth which we use to mainly chew our food and hence tend to trap food and plaque.
3) Change your toothbrush
You are recommended to change your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles are frayed – depending which is earlier.
Over time, bacteria is accumulated on our toothbrushes, hence the need to change them regularly. Moreover, the longer a toothbrush is being used, the bristles will become frayed. Frayed and bent bristles would no longer remove plaque effectively, reducing the effectiveness of toothbrushing.
4) Clean the other parts of your mouth
Other than your teeth and gums, remember to brush your tongue as well. Your tongue is covered with tiny, pinkish-white bumps called papillae. These uneven bumps trap and hide bacteria causing bad breath and even tooth damage.
To clean, you may use a toothbrush to brush back and forth, side to side and then rinse your mouth with water. Alternatively, you may use a tongue scraper as well. Nonetheless, do take extra effort to clean your tongue gently so that you do not hurt the tongue.
5) Clean at the right time
Brush your teeth for two times a day – once after waking up and the other before going to bed. While we are sleeping, there is a significant decrease in saliva production, resulting in the development of bacteria (yes, bacteria do develop overnight).
Therefore, brushing when we wake up will help to eliminate these bacteria and bad breath. While brushing before we sleep will prevent the accumulation of plaque. After brushing before sleep, refrain from having a snack or drinking anything other than plain water to ensure that the mouth is clean as possible throughout the night.
Also, if you have the habit of brushing after meals, do it 30 to 45 minutes after your meal to prevent erosion of the tooth enamel.
That sums up the five tips for effective brushing! Find it useful? Share it with your family and friends and help them to brush effectively as well!
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