Bloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA
You probably have been told since you were a small child about the importance of brushing your teeth on a regular basis. It is common knowledge that brushing your teeth twice a day, in combination with flossing daily and visiting your dentist at least two times a year for cleanings and examinations, is the best way to safeguard your oral health.
However, it’s not just the act of brushing that is important, but how you brush. Are you brushing correctly? The following technique is recommended:
Keep the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Gently move it back and forth in short strokes about as wide as a single tooth. Brush the outer surface of your teeth, as well as the backside and the chewing surfaces on the tops. To clean the portion of your teeth facing into your mouth (where the tip of your tongue touches), tilt the brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes. Make sure to also brush your tongue; this removes bacteria and freshens breath.
Avoid brushing your teeth rigorously or in a back-and-forth motion. This can lead to gum recession and tooth sensitivity.
Children need their teeth brushed too! Teaching this technique to your children is paramount in setting them up for a lifetime of good oral health. Encourage good oral hygiene habits with your child early. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that oral care begin in infancy. For infants, be sure to wipe their gums gently with a moist cloth. As soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts, use an age appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth. Once your child’s teeth begin to touch, it is time to introduce gentle flossing techniques. However, keep in mind that children do not possess the ability to effectively brush their teeth by themselves until about the age of 7 or 8. So, be sure to be present when your child brushes.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a soft-bristled brush that is replaced every three to four months or when the brush starts to fray—whichever comes first. Also, anytime you are sick, be sure to replace your toothbrush afterward to prevent an infection again. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride; just look for one that has the ADA seal of approval on the packaging.
You can also add an alcohol-free mouth rinse to your daily oral hygiene routine for an extra step of protection. Plus, it can help freshen your breath and kill oral bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure also to floss after your last meal of the day, which for many means at night before bed.
Brushing and flossing are only part of the battle in protecting your teeth and smile. It takes a team effort. You need an experienced and trustworthy dentist as part of that team. Hamilton Dental Care can help protect your teeth and mouth through cleanings, diagnostic tools, and a wide variety of preventive care treatments. Contact our office at (570) 387-0533 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the services we offer.
Hamilton Dental Care is here to serve patients in the communities of Bloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA.