Is It Worth It to Brush Longer?
You have probably heard the idea that a person ought to brush their teeth for at least two minutes a day for healthy teeth. While that is what you have heard, you have wondered about how long should I brush my teeth? Here are some things you need to know about that dentists recommend for you to maintain your teeth in good shape.
Why Brushing Is Important
Whenever you eat, the sugar in those foods will cause harmful bacteria in your mouth to multiply. As they do, they produce acids which are harmful to your teeth. Regular brushing also removes food particles, tartar, and plaque from your teeth. The brushing also helps to strengthen your gums, and to fight against gum disease.
Use the Right Toothbrush
There are three levels of hardness when it comes to toothbrushes. They come in soft, medium, and hard. The hard ones are generally too hard. If you follow the two-minute guideline, brushing that long will help get your teeth clean, but they are too hard on your gums and will wear them down. You are usually good with either a medium, or, preferably a soft toothbrush. One with soft bristles allows the bristles to bend and reach below the gum line better.
The size of the head of the toothbrush is important, too. It should be small enough to allow you to brush in all the corners of your mouth. This includes the teeth in the back. One reason for the two-minute recommendation is because you need to have enough time to get every part of your teeth – and all of them.
Using an electric toothbrush is a better option for more people, since the bristles are moving at a much faster speed. This provides better cleaning and a more thorough job if care is given to reach every area.
Do a Thorough Job
When brushing, be sure to brush all sides of your teeth. This includes not just the front teeth, or the tops of your teeth, but also the inside of your teeth – on the tongue side. This area is harder to get, but just as important to remove food particles and bacteria. You also want to brush your tongue to remove the bacteria on it – and to help keep bad breath away.
Knowing how to brush your teeth includes doing it the right way. On the vertical part of your teeth, it is important that you do not use horizontal strokes with the brush. Vertical strokes work best, and will enable the bristles to get between the teeth better.
Brush your teeth at least two times each day – for two minutes each time. Your teeth are too valuable to not take good care of them. There are too many cracks and crevices in between teeth that a quick brush job will not do a good job of removing food particles and bacteria.
In addition to brushing, it is also important to floss your teeth at least once a day. This is necessary because brushing alone cannot possibly reach into the spaces between your teeth.
When to Brush
After you eat foods with acids in them, it is important not to brush right away. The acids soften the enamel on your teeth. If you brush at that time, you are damaging the enamel even while you are attempting to keep them in good condition. Instead, wait about 15 to 20 minutes after eating to protect your teeth better. If you must brush right away, brush gently. An alternative is to rinse your mouth out with plain water to rinse away the acid; or you might brush your teeth before eating.
Keep Your Toothbrush in Good Shape
Having a good toothbrush is essential to the proper way to brush teeth. After a while, the bristles will become frayed and their ability to clean your teeth will be limited. Once the bristles become frayed, it is time to replace it, which will usually be about every three months.
It is also recommended that you replace your toothbrush after you have a cold or an illness. Bacteria can hide on the bristles and may lead to a reinfection. Throwing away the one used during illness may help prevent this problem.
Teach Your Children
Your children need to know how to brush teeth properly. By nature, children will try to make teeth-brushing as short as possible, so they will need some help to learn the correct way. One way to do this is to get a toothbrush timer. This device will help them to know how long two minutes is.
Most adults are also not brushing for as long as they think they are. Checking yourself with a timer every now and then is a good idea. Another method is to use the timer on a cellphone.
Eat Healthy for Healthy Teeth
Perhaps besides knowing how to brush your teeth properly, it is also a good idea to know what foods you should avoid to ensure your teeth last longer. Drinking sodas, fruit juices, and eating other sweets high in sugar will hurt your teeth in the long run. Sugars cause the bacteria to multiply in your mouth, which then produces more acid. Cutting down on sugar will help protect your teeth better.
If you live in the Carrollton, TX, Lewisville, TX, or in the Grapevine, TX areas, you can get the dental services of Dr. Kumar T Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist. He performs most forms of dentistry and can help you keep your smile. Call his office today at 214-731-0123 for more information or to set up an appointment.