Do you think that your toothbrushing technique could use a little help? Today our Surrey and Delta dentists share 3 things you can do to take your oral hygiene to the next level.
Are you using the wrong toothbrush?
Whether you prefer an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, picking a model that's comfortable to use and reaches all the areas of your mouth is essential for achieving optimal oral hygiene. Here's what you should look for the next time you shop for a new toothbrush:
- Small Brush Head - For most of us it's a good idea to choose a toothbrush with a small brush head. The smaller head will allow you to more easily clean those hard to reach places like the very back of your mouth, and behind your front teeth.
- Soft Bristles - The fact is that there is very little need to use a toothbrush with hard bristles. Plaque is typically soft and easy to remove, soft bristles can get the job done without worrying about harming your gums or your tooth enamel. If you have sensitive teeth and/or signs of enamel erosion, your dentist may suggest that you use a brush with extra-soft bristles.
- Comfortable Handle - When you're shopping for a new toothbrush, spend more time choosing a handle that fits nicely in your hand, than the colour. A comfortable handle allows for better maneuverability and helps you to reach all areas of your mouth. A handle that is too long or too bulky will prevent you from brushing as well as you could. Oh, and don't forget to choose a colour you like too!
Do you brush too hard?
Brushing harder does not mean that you are brushing better! Rather than scrubbing away at your teeth, think of brushing as massaging your teeth and gums. Plaque is easily removed by brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush, and flossing regularly to clean those tight spots between teeth. There's simply no need for vigorous scrubbing to get the job done. Gentle regular brushing and flossing is best for optimal oral hygiene.
Are you brushing for long enough?
Most dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. If you haven't been timing yourself, there's a good chance that you aren't brushing for long enough. Now is the time to get out the timer and give two minute brushing a try. If you've been estimating two minutes, or just rushing through brushing, you may be surprised at how long two minutes actually is!
To make the task a little easier, some models of electric toothbrushes come with built-in times to let you know when you have completed two minutes of brushing, or you could just use your phone or watch to time yourself.
Another technique is to spend thirty seconds on each quadrant of your mouth, focusing on all areas of the teeth and gums in that quadrant until the time is up.