- Are you brushing at the right time?
If you only brush once a day, when would be the best time? That was easy, before you go to sleep, of course! When you are sleeping, it is the longest period when you are not eating or drinking; therefore, no feeding the bacteria that develops into tooth decay, plaque or gum disease. I have been guilty of this next mistake myself. Many people brush right after waking up, but before their first meal. It is a good to freshen your breathe when you first wake but remember to also brush AFTER you eat. Would you take a shower before exercising but not after?
- Are you using the correct brush?
Please use a soft bristled brush. Anything else has the potential to harm your teeth and gums. Plaque can be easily removed using a soft toothbrush. Remember, it’s not how hard you brush; it is how thoroughly and often you brush. I commonly got Gingivitis, the gums bleed from flossing, but since I started using an electric toothbrush with soft bristles; the problem went away. Our office recommends brushing with an Oral-B™ Professional electric toothbrush at least twice a day; after your first meal and before you go to sleep.
- Do you take care of you tongue?
Your tongue harbors food and bacteria in the tiny crevices on the back of the tongue. Use a tongue scraper to remove these harmful bacteria. Not only does it help to prevent cavities and plaque, but this can improve your breath as well. This is a common tongue scraper.
- You do not use proper technique?
There are four quadrants in your mouth. The top front, top back, bottom front and bottom back. We recommend brushing softly with a soft brush for 30 seconds in each quadrant. Brush the outside of the teeth in each quadrant for 10 seconds, top of the quadrant for 10 seconds and the inside surface of the teeth for 10 seconds. Some electric toothbrushes will vibrate every 30 seconds to let you know to move to the next quadrant. The American Dental Association recommends you brush for 2 minutes; hence, 30 seconds in all four quadrants. This is another reason to use an electric toothbrush; you do not have to watch the time or think about it.
- How often do you replace your brush?
You should probably replace your brush every 3 months, more frequently if the bristles become worn. An easy way to remember this is to replace it every time the season changes. Worn bristles will not effectively remove plaque or bacteria. And don’t forget to replace your brush immediately if you’ve been sick! Bacteria and viruses from an illness can reside in the bristles and potentially re-infect you. This worn brush should be replaced.
If you have any questions, please contact our office.