A little dental care will help keep your mouth healthy for a long time. Learn how to brush your teeth correctly.
In the natural course of our morning chores, brushing teeth tops the list. However the intricacies of proper tooth brushing are often neglected. Here’s a brief guide to enlighten our souls with the proper brushing technique.
Which brush and toothpaste to use
Try using a small headed, soft tooth brush with round ended nylon bristles. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative, particularly for those who have limited manual dexterity.
You can choose any toothpaste of a known brand. However the medicated tooth pastes for sensitive teeth, whitening pastes, etcetera, should be used after consulting your dentist. Tooth powder should be avoided because it’s coarse in nature and may harm your enamel.
When to brush
Brushing twice daily, for 2-3 minutes is a must. It is important to brush your teeth after you eat. An exception to this rule is to avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after having acidic foods and beverages. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can cause wearing of teeth.
How to brush
Brushing techniques vary according to the present condition of your teeth. However under certain conditions, like when you have undergone dental treatment, this needs to be modified. Consult your dentist for the most appropriate brushing technique.
Here’s a video which demonstrates the correct brushing technique.
- Use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration.
- Start by placing the toothbrush bristles at a 45degree angle on the front surface of the back teeth. Move the toothbrush in small circular motions especially in the area where the tooth meets the gums. Slowly move forward towards the front teeth. Continue to move around the arch and cover the back teeth on the opposite side.
- Repeat these steps with the back of the teeth as well.
- Move the toothbrush back and forth on the chewing surfaces of all teeth, including the front teeth.
- Rinse your toothbrush, place on tongue, and gently run the bristles over your tongue. The tongue can also harbour bacteria and must be cleaned as well.
When to change your brush
Instead of an exact time, the condition of the brush decides when it has to be discarded. Tooth brushes should be changed when the bristles of the brush become stiff with time or they get frayed. 3-4 months is considered an optimum time.
The single best way to maintain a healthy dentition is to brush your teeth properly and regularly.
Written by Dr.Krutika Dang
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