Preventive hygiene is important for your oral health. This includes visiting your dentist's office for regular cleanings and exams at your dentist's office, as well as practicing good oral health care at home with regular brushing and flossing.
Thoroughly brushing your teeth is important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. It helps to remove bacteria that may be causing tooth decay and plaque that may be causing gum disease.
Here, our dentists break down proper brushing techniques.
Proper Brushing Techniques
Clean each surface of every tooth in your mouth - the chewing surface, the cheek side and the tongue side.
Brush at a 45-degree angle in a sweeping motion. For the upper teeth, use a sweeping downward motion, and for lower teeth use a sweeping upward motion. Only brush back and forth on chewing surfaces.
How Often to Brush
Ideally, you should brush after each meal. Regardless of how frequently you brush your teeth though, make sure you wait at least 30 minutes after eating before your brush your teeth.
At a minimum, you should brush your teeth twice each day, one of these times should be right before you go to bed.
How Long to Brush
Don't rush your brushing. A thorough tooth brushing session should be at least two minutes long. It shouldn't be any longer than 4 minutes though. You can always try timing yourself as you brush to make sure you're cleaning your teeth properly.
Using the Right Brush
Use a soft brush with rounded bristles that allow you to reach your back teeth.
There are many different brush shapes and sizes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you.
What Happens if You Don't Brush?
Our Port Moody dentists have some bad news for those who think that they can get by without brushing their teeth.
The reason we recommend brushing your teeth twice each day is because the consequences for not brushing can be pretty serious. Here are examples of health issues that can arise from not brushing your teeth.
- Stained teeth - This is especially true if you drink coffee, wine, or smoke cigarettes.
- Tooth decay - If you don’t brush your teeth you get plaque that breaks down your tooth enamel. This will cause bad breath and eventually can cause major problems and require things like crowns and root canals.
- Gum disease - Also known as periodontal disease, this occurs when the bacteria in plaque cause swollen and bleeding gums.
- Long-term health problems - Periodontal disease is a likely outcome of not brushing one’s teeth, and periodontal disease has been associated with higher risks of kidney disease, dementia, and certain types of cancers.