To achieve optimum oral health, teeth should be brushed at least twice daily. At a minimum, teeth should be brushed after breakfast and before bed. Brushing after every meal is ideal. The perfect toothbrush has a small head with soft, rounded-end bristles. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or less. A small toothbrush head has an easier time getting access all areas of the mouth. Soft bristles help prevent damage to the gum tissue. The American Dental Association (ADA) has given electric toothbrushes their seal of approval; stating that those with rotating or oscillating heads are more effective than other toothbrushes.
Proper brushing takes a few easy steps:
- Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where the gums and teeth meet.
- Use small circular motions to gently brush the gumline and teeth.
- Do not scrub or apply too much pressure to the teeth, as this can damage the gums and tooth enamel.
- Brush every surface of every tooth, cheek-side, tongue-side, and chewing surfaces. Place special emphasis on the surfaces of the back teeth. Brushing for a full two minutes should help you ensure you have had enough time to reach all surfaces of all your teeth.
- Brush the tongue to remove fungi, germs, food, and other debris. Brushing the tongue is one of the best ways to help prevent bad breath.
If you have any questions about the proper way to brush, please ask your dentist or dental hygienist.