3 Questions to Ask Yourself about Brushing Teeth

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It’s no secret—if you want a healthy smile you need to maintain proper oral care. One of the most essential ways of doing this is by brushing your teeth daily. But, are you doing it correctly? Tooth brushing may sound simple enough, but a significant portion of your peers are getting it all wrong. It’s important to evaluate your own daily routines in order to make sure that you’re on the right track.


“Am I brushing long enough?”

Let’s be honest, most adults should answer this question with a resounding “no.” Life is busy, our schedules are packed, and most people don’t take the time necessary to brush their teeth for as long as they should. The recommended time for each session of brushing is two to three minutes. We know it sounds long (and some people may even claim impossible) but it’s an important goal to aim for. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to visually divide your mouth into four sections and then spend 30 seconds brushing in each quadrant. Want the time to go faster? Try multi-tasking as you brush. You can brush while you watch the morning/nightly news, while you review your daily/weekly calendar, or while you listen to your favorite music.

“Am I brushing hard-to-reach places?”

Most people settle into mindless brushing habits and don’t take the time to consider whether or not they’re actually cleaning every surface of their teeth. Think about it, your teeth have three reachable sides you can brush—the front, the back, and the chewing surfaces. Are you reaching all three? The back sides of your teeth (where your tongue rests) are the most frequently forgotten and neglected surfaces. It can be tricky to maneuver your toothbrush in order to clean those hard-to-reach places, but it’s simply a matter of consciously remembering to do it. Remember, the inside of your smile is as important as the outside of your smile.

“Am I brushing frequently enough?”

You’ve probably heard this one before. You should replace your soft-bristled brush when:  1) It begins to show wear or 2) Every three months—whichever comes sooner. If it’s not showing much wear after three months, this could be a sign that you’re not brushing as frequently as you should be. With too much time between brushing teeth, bacterial plaque will build up and your risk of cavities and gum disease can increase. Ideally, you should brush three times a day. But at bare minimum you should brush those pearly whites twice a day—first thing in the morning and then right before you go to sleep. If you’ve perfected the art of frequently brushing teeth, another great goal is to resist the urge to brush too often or too hard. By brushing too vigorously it can actually damage or erode your tooth enamel.

Evaluate your own brushing routines (including flossing, of course) and set some goals for improvement. A healthy smile is worth every effort possible! Call Cypress Springs Dentistry if you have any more questions about the proper way to brush your teeth.