How to Brush Your Teeth

Do you brush your teeth twice a day, but every time you go to the dentist you have a new cavity?  The problem may be that you are not brushing your teeth effectively. Many patients are surprised that they are not brushing the proper way. So, lets discuss how you can improve your brushing.

Brushing with a Manual Toothbrush

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. You want your toothbrush bristles to get underneath your gums a little bit. 
  • Move the brush back and forth (about the width of your tooth) in short strokes and then roll your toothbrush away from your gums. Make sure you repeat this process on each tooth.  
  • Don’t forget to brush all surfaces of your teeth.
  • To clean behind your front teeth, tilt your toothbrush vertically and brush up and down.
  • If it’s easier to watch a video, watch “Brushing Your Teeth” by the American Dental Association

Brushing with an Electric toothbrush

  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
  • Unlike a manual toothbrush, you do not have to do any extra brushing; your electric toothbrush does all of the work for you.
  • Make sure you brush all the surfaces of your teeth,
  • You will still need to tilt your toothbrush vertically to brush behind your front teeth.

Brushing is a great way to get rid of plaque around your teeth, but it cannot get everything out from in between your teeth. Be sure to floss once a day to keep bacteria out from in between your teeth.

When Brushing, Please Remember

  • Brush for 2 minutes 2 times per day
  • Floss daily
  • Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months
  • Don’t brush too hard
  • Remember to brush your tongue

Be sure to see your dentist every 6 months for your regular checkup and cleaning. Remember to discuss how you can improve your oral hygiene!

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Don’t Forget to Brush Your Tongue

You know the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day, and you often hear about the importance of daily flossing. Do you know that in order to maintain good oral health, it is also important to clean your tongue? Why? Because the tongue has the most bacteria-covered spots in our body. A tongue not only has taste buds but also crevices, elevations, and all kinds of tiny structures where bacteria can hide unless removed physically.

Why is it essential to brush your tongue?

We advise our patients to brush their tongues. It is essential to brush your tongue for the following reasons:

  • Prevents tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • Improves your breath.
  • Avoiding the formation of the black hairy tongue. (A dark, hair-like appearance can occur when the tiny bumps on your tongue called papillae get stained due to the consumption of dark-colored food and drinks, like red wine, coffee, or soda.)
  • Dental bacteria can’t be removed just by rinsing with mouthwashes.

How To Brush Your Tongue

There are certain ways to clean your tongue:

Toothbrushes: You don’t require a fancy tool for cleaning your tongue. You can just brush your tongue by using a standard toothbrush, and by following short side-to-side and back-and-forth strokes. You can do this while brushing your teeth.

Specialized tongue scrapers: Specialized tongue scrapers are designed to remove bacteria by scraping the mucous layer on your tongue. You can buy them at any drugstore and are quite inexpensive.

Toothbrushes with built-in scrapers: Some toothbrushes already have in-built scrapers into the rear of the handle. You can first brush your tongue, and then scrape it to make sure it’s clean.

Making a Difference with Oral Health

Preventing cavities is our goal and the main reason we wanted to chat about brushing your teeth! We’re here to help you overcome any oral health challenges you or your family may be experiencing. Please schedule a visit with us for your dental exam, cleaning and oral cancer screening, as well as dental treatment you may need.

Regular dental cleanings are important to ensure your preventative care routine is complete. Although you may be brushing and flossing your teeth really well at home, tartar and plaque is impossible to remove with regular brushing and flossing, and can build-up over time.

Now that you know the differences between brushing your teeth with a manual toothbrush and electric toothbrush, choose what works best for you and discuss your results and additional tips and tricks during your dental exam with Dr. Luff and her team.

Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve the health of their teeth, their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment.