July 15, 2018
When you go to brush, is the first area you go to the visible portion of teeth that make up your smile? If not, is it the molars where food debris likes to gather and stick? Maybe you do a combination of the two by starting from the back but brush the front surface? Either way, this dentist in Phillipsburg says it’s likely that you’re missing this key area.
To find out what it is, keep reading!
The Area of Your Mouth You’re Probably Missing
It’s common for patients to miss certain areas of their mouth, especially the areas they can’t see. For this reason, dentists remind patients to brush the inside portions of teeth. People often mimic their brushing habits based on what they see on television or in advertisements, which typically focuses on the visible areas of teeth. Unfortunately, this doesn’t address the surfaces facing the tongue and palate.
All tooth enamel surfaces are capable of collecting plaque, tartar, and cavities. Therefore, it’s very important to focus on these areas as much as you already do on the visible or chewing surfaces.
Instead of brushing a single surface at a time, pay attention to each tooth individually. This ensures that you’ll be brushing as evenly as possible.
What Does Proper Brushing Look Like?
As recommended by the American Dental Association, people should be brushing for at least two minutes at a time and using fluoridated toothpaste to prevent cavities and gum disease. Dedicate at least 30 seconds to each corner of your mouth. Use a small, controlled, and circular motion to mimic how your dentist cleans teeth. It can also resemble what electric rotating toothbrushes do.
You’ll also want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush over any other type. Soft bristles gently remove plaque and food debris without removing tooth enamel in the process.
What Habits Should I Avoid?
Dentists are just as much aware of the wrong ways to brush as they are the right ways due to the many patients coming in with worn-down teeth. Just like how you should avoid using a hard-bristled toothbrush, you should also avoid brushing for too long or with too much force.
Brushing too hard not only wears down enamel, but causes gums to recede. This exposes the tooth roots and makes them more vulnerable to infection. Brushing any longer than three minutes at a time is unnecessary and can increase tooth sensitivity.
The correct amount of pressure feels comfortable, doesn’t crush the bristles, and leaves your teeth feeling cleaned. For a point of reference on how much pressure to apply, hold your toothbrush with only your thumb and first two fingers during your routine.
Want more tips on practicing the best technique possible? Schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino earned his DMD degree from the Fairleigh S. Dickinson School of Dental Medicine. He was also named one of the “Top Dentist in America” by the Consumer’s Research Council of America in 2004 and 2007. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.
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