The story is too common — you brush your teeth twice a day, just as the dentist recommended. You came in for your bi-yearly checkup, and a cavity still managed to be found. What are you doing wrong?
Only 10 percent of us are actually brushing our teeth in a way that prevents plaque buildup. So what can you do to join the 10 percent? Below are a few ways to step it up:
Brush for two solid minutes
It seems obvious, but many of us are barely making brushing for even one minute. You can break it up by dividing your mouth into three sections — front, right and center — and brushing each section for 40 seconds. Two minutes is almost universally agreed upon by dentists as an appropriate amount of time to thoroughly clean all surfaces.
Brush three times a day for a bacteria-free mouth.
Two times a day is great and all, but if you really want to send bacteria out the door, brush three times: in the morning, after lunch and before bed. This also is a great way to beat bad breath! However, try not to go over three times per day, as this can irritate the gums.
Change HOW you are brushing your teeth.
Are you brushing too vigorously? This can erode tooth enamel, which protects your tooth from daily usage and insulates the teeth from high temperatures and chemicals. Brush softly in a small circular motion to best scrape plaque without damaging the enamel.
Use toothpaste wisely.
Instead of smudging too much toothpaste on your brush, use it sparingly twice: once for the top teeth and once to the bottom. Too much toothpaste at the beginning ends up getting spit out quickly, meaning the rest of your teeth have to make do with only a little bit.
If you need additional instruction, please come in and see us. Our dentist Dr. Jahangiri and one of our dental hygienists will take the time to demonstrate to you the correct technique. Our dentistry office, here in Katy, TX is dedicated to helping you achieve the best oral health possible with a smile that you will love.