To conclude our New Year’s kick off series for better dental health in 2012, we are going to now talk about the most important of all of the foundational oral health habits we’ve discussed thus far, brushing your teeth. Now we know that this isn’t a very exciting subject, but just like our articles on rinsing and flossing, unexciting certainly doesn’t mean unimportant!
Now, hopefully all of us already brush our teeth regularly, but there are certain techniques that can be used for brushing that can greatly increase your results. Even though we have all been brought up brushing our teeth, it’s amazing how few people actually know the correct way to do it! Some patients even have such a bad technique brushing their teeth that they actually cause damage to their gums. Now technique will differ greatly depending on if you are using a regular toothbrush or an electric one, like a Sonicare. So we’ll start with the regular toothbrush method.
Here are the steps and techniques we recommend when brushing with a regular toothbrush:
- Brush at least twice a day, but preferably after every meal
- First, rinse with mouthwash such as Listerine
- Make sure you have a relatively new toothbrush (not an old and worn out one)
- Work sections of your mouth at a time
- Brush the front sides of your teeth first, gently brushing away from your gums starting with the gum line
- Then move to the back sides of your teeth, it can sometimes help to hold the brush vertically especially for the back of your lower front teeth and other hard to reach areas
- Then brush the chewing areas of your teeth
- Pay extra attention to your gum line, back teeth, fillings, and crowns
- You should be brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes
- After you are done with your teeth, then brush your tongue and the inside of your cheeks to remove extra bacteria which can cause bad breath
- Then rinse with water, and finally, if it’s a night time brushing also rinse with a fluoride mouthwash like ACT
Check out this tutorial video below
Now, let’s go through any different steps of how to brush properly while using a Sonicare:
- Be sure to use a relatively new brush head and replace when neccesary
- Unlike a regular toothbrush, you don’t have to do too much of the brushing with a Sonicare. Just simply hold your Sonicare gently over your teeth (almost hovering) and let it go to work!
- First brush the outside of your teeth (top and bottom), then the inside and chewing areas
- Your Sonicare will pause every 30 seconds to notify you it’s time to move on to another area, then your Sonicare will turn off after 2 minutes notifying you that your task is complete.
As you can see, the philosophy still very much remains the same when brushing with a Sonicare. The main difference is obvious, that the toothbrush does the brushing part for you and all that you have to do is gently guide it around your teeth and mouth. Be careful not to put too much pressure on your teeth with your Sonicare, but rather let it almost hover over your teeth while it does what it does.
We hope that this series has been of value to you in the goal of trying to help our patients start out their New Year with better dental habits that can last a life time, while hopefully helping your original teeth last a lifetime as well. Happy New Year from Bozart Family Dentistry!