Everyone knows how to brush their teeth, right? Well, as it turns out, it’s not that simple! Science has come up with newer techniques that optimize the way we brush our teeth. By following these four simple steps, you can get the most out of how you brush, and limit your risk for getting cavities.
First, before we get into the brushing instructions, it’s important to understand how cavities form in the first place. Enamel, is the outer most layer of a tooth, and is the hardest tissue our bodies. Despite this, cavities happen when the bacteria that normally live in our mouths, use the sugars in the foods we eat, to make acid and degrade the enamel. Acids wear away at the enamel, and it cannot grow back. However, following these four steps, every time you brush, can help prevent cavities.
The first step is to floss in between your teeth. This helps loosen food debris away from your teeth, not giving the bacteria in your mouth a food source to make the enamel eating acid. Floss as often as you would like to. Ideally, the more times you floss, the better! An acceptable amount is 1-2 times per day. Note that when flossing, be sure to pull through the teeth, not snapping the floss back up (or down). Snapping the floss can damage any crowns, or fillings you already have.
The next step is to brush or scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper or toothbrush. Make sure that you brush or scrape from several different directions across the tongue.
Thirdly, swish and rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash such as Listerine or ACT for 30 seconds.
Finally, brush for 2 Minutes / 2X per day! Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the teeth, and move your hand in a semicircular motion. This action pulls bacteria and debris off the surface of the tooth. Make sure to lightly brush both the teeth, and the gums. Always use a fluoride toothpaste, and do not rinse with water after brushing; just spit out the remaining toothpaste. This allows the fluoride in the toothbrush to strengthen teeth, and not be washed out.
So now you know the most latest and greatest way to get the most out of brushing your teeth! The biggest advantage to following this method, besides a fresh mouth, is that it will save you lots of money on preventable dental work. If you follow these steps, and make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months, you’ll be smiling (with your own teeth) for many more years to come!