Brushing Your Teeth
To prevent plaque buildup, it is extremely important that you brush two times a day. Plaque is a sticky bacterial substance that forms on the teeth. Plaque mixes with the sugars inside the mouth, forming strong acids that cause tooth decay. To reduce plaque, you should brush your teeth in the morning after breakfast and a second time before retiring at night.
When teeth are not properly brushed, plaque builds up on the surfaces of the teeth and irritates the gums. If this condition is left untreated, the gums respond by pulling away from the teeth, leaving pockets that contain bacteria and pus. The bacteria and pus irritate and destroy the bone that holds the teeth in place. Eventually, bone loss can become so severe that the teeth are no longer supported properly.
Tooth decay and gum disease can easily be prevented by brushing, flossing, eating healthfully, and visiting your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and examination.
How to brush correctly:
- Begin with a good quality (soft or extra-soft bristle) toothbrush. Generally, you should use a small, angled brush. An electric toothbrush can also be used, if desired.
- Remember that you must brush each tooth inside and out. Apply your favorite toothpaste to your brush and clean your teeth in an organized pattern.
- The back teeth are most often missed. Start by brushing the outside surfaces of your back teeth and work your way around to the opposite side of your mouth. Use short circular motions, making sure the brush contacts both your teeth and your gum line.
- As long as your toothpaste contains fluoride, any brand will do the job. Expensive toothpastes are not necessarily better. Actually: it’s recommended to switch between brands regularly, because this stimulates the saliva production. It’s important for healthy teeth to produce enough saliva, but your mouth gets used to a specific flavors and consequently produces less saliva.
- You should spend approximately two minutes brushing your entire mouth.
- Replace your tooth brush once every three months or when the bristles become bent. You should also replace your brush after you recover from a cold or flu.
- .Make sure you brush the top surface of your tongue. This helps in fighting the bacteria that cause bad breath. A tongue-scraper may also be used to remove oral bacteria.
- Finally, rinse with water or use mouthwash.