You’ve likely heard your dentist say that the key to a clean, healthy mouth is brushing 2 times per day, for 2 minutes per brushing. However, you may not have heard that there are actually good brushing techniques and bad brushing techniques that can really make or break the quality of your brushing, and ultimately the outcome of your overall oral health.
For instance, did you know that you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) add much pressure to your brushing? There is a common misconception that pressing harder will remove more plaque, but in reality, brush head bristles are designed to reach between your teeth, and pressing too hard actually mashes them, rendering them incapable of doing their intended job. Not only that, but added pressure can cause some serious gum irritation and soreness.Similarly, vigorous scrubbing can lead to some bad outcomes, as well.And yes surely, cavities and gingivitis will result from a lack of proper brushing your teeth, but there are some issues that can be caused by improper bushing technique (no matter how diligent you may be).
Here are 3 key rules for brushing your teeth safely and completely:
Rule 1: Do not scrub!
You’ve probably been using the scrubbing method your whole life, and this is a hard habit to kick. Aggressive scrubbing, though, can cause uncomfortable gum irritation and even permanent damage. Instead, use a short, soft back and forth motion, letting the bristles do most of the work for you.
Rule 2: Less pressure actually cleans better.
This may seem counterintuitive, but mashing the brush head against your teeth and gums prevents the bristles from sweeping away the plaque in between your teeth, causing more plaque to build up.
*Tip: While brushing, try holding your toothbrush with just your fingertips. This will help eliminate that impulse to press too hard.
Rule 3: Brush for at least 2 full minutes.
On average, people only brush their teeth for 45-70 seconds. This is not enough time to successfully cover all areas of your mouth. Lack of coverage means that plaque has the time and space to build up, especially in consistently missed areas. Use a timer if you’re unable to keep track — 2 minutes is the magic number.
CHOICE OF BRUSH
Manual vs electric toothbrush?
Dentists generally agree that electric toothbrushes are tougher on plaque and gentler on gums than manual toothbrushes. At 62,000 brush movements per minute, the cleaning your mouth receives from just a single 2-minute brushing session with a Sonicare brand electric toothbrush is the equivalent of 1 month of manual brushing. Not joking.
-Can help people feel they have more control while brushing their teeth.
-Greater ability to reduce pressure applied on sensitive teeth and gums.
-Small and convinent for packing while travelling.
-Cheaper and easier to replace.
-Power rotation helps to reduce plaque.
-Convinent for people with medical conditions.
-Timers ensure you brush each section of your mouth for the right amount of time.
-Popular among kids for whom manual brushing is tedious part of their morning session.
PROPER BRUSHING TECHNIQUE
Brushing your teeth is an important part of your dental care routine.For healthy mouth and smile,IDA recommends you:
-Brushing your teeth twice a day with soft-bristled toothbrush.
-The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
-Replace your brush every 3 months.
-Make sure you use flouride toothpaste.
-Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
-Gently move your brush back and froth in short strokes.
-Brushing all the surfaces of teeth including inner and chewing surfaces.
-To clean inside surfaces of your front teeth,tilt the brush vertically and make up and down strokes.
-Clean between teeth once a day.Floss or interdental brushes can be used to clean such areas.