How you brush your teeth is just as important as how often you do it. Start with the right tools:
Opt for a soft-bristle toothbrush that fits comfortably in your mouth. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
Squeeze a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste onto your toothbrush.
Hold the manual toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. This angle allows you to clean your teeth and gumline most effectively.
Using gentle, circular motions, brush the outer surfaces of your teeth. Focus on one tooth at a time, making the circles as big as the tooth itself.
Pay attention to the gumline where plaque accumulates. Brush all the outer and inner tooth surfaces.
Using a back-and-forth motion, brush the chewing surfaces of your molars. Gently brush your tongue for fresh breath, too.
After brushing, spit out the toothpaste. Avoid rinsing your mouth immediately to allow the fluoride to seal and protect your teeth.
For your healthiest smile, we recommend flossing first and brushing after. Watch the video to see why.
The ADA recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, roughly spending 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. This allows for thorough cleaning on all tooth surfaces, effectively removing plaque, bacteria and food particles.
Starting a proper dental care routine early is crucial for your baby's oral health. You should begin brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first tooth emerges, around 6 months of age. Using a soft infant toothbrush and water, gently clean the tooth and the surrounding gums. As more teeth come in, you can introduce a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. This early start helps prevent cavities, establish good dental habits and promote a lifetime of healthy smiles for your little one.
It’s actually best to brush your teeth before breakfast. Brushing prior to eating helps remove overnight plaque buildup so you don’t swallow any bacteria. If you choose to brush after breakfast, wait at least 30 minutes to allow your tooth enamel to recover from acidic foods.
Gums may bleed when brushing due to gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Plaque accumulation leads to inflammation and sensitivity, causing the gums to bleed upon brushing. Regular dental care, including proper brushing techniques and routine check-ups, can help address and prevent this issue.
Brushing teeth with baking soda is a common home remedy for teeth whitening. Baking soda's mild abrasiveness can help remove surface stains. However, you should use it in moderation to prevent the erosion of enamel or irritation to the gum tissue.
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