You may be surprised to learn that the American Academy of General Dentistry advises that people brush their teeth at least twice per day. Brushing less than the twice per day AAGD recommendation leaves you at risk of developing tooth decay and gingivitis.
Dr. Caracioni advises that patients select a brush that is not too big for their mouth. This will allow all the brush to reach all the surfaces and structures of the mouth. She also suggests a soft bristled brush, as to protect sensitive gum tissue.
It doesn’t matter if you select a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, although some studies suggest that an electric toothbrush is better at removing sticky dental plaque.
There are many toothpaste options available, with a wide variety of flavors, and some have additional benefits of whitening or reduction of tooth sensitivity. No matter what toothpaste you select, you should be using toothpaste with fluoride to help prevent cavities. Fluoride remineralizes your teeth to help fight against tooth decay.
Patients should also brush for two minutes each time they brush. Starting on the outside of the teeth, brush in a circular motion. Using a circular motion instead of a back and forth sawing technique prevents excessive wear and tear on your teeth and gums. Once you have brushed the outer surface of your upper and lower teeth, move to the inside surface. Once the inside surface of your upper and lower teeth have been brushed, then move to the chewing surface. You can also brush your tongue to refresh your breath and remove bacteria. Dr. Caracioni suggests setting a timer to make sure you are brushing for at least two full minutes. Setting a timer may help ensure you are brushing properly.
Don’t forget to floss, too. Flossing removes any bits of food from between the teeth your toothbrush couldn’t reach. You can floss before or after brushing, but make sure you floss at least once per day.
Do you have questions about taking care of your teeth and gums? Call Dr. Caracioni today at 785.783.0741.