4 Ways to Brush Your Teeth Better

Decay Prevention 3 - Jacksonville, TX | All Smiles - Dr. Larry Folden

One of the most important things you can do to keep your smile healthy is to brush your teeth every day. If you’re already doing it, congratulations! Hands down, it’s the most important oral hygiene habit you can practice.

Could you improve your technique? You’ve probably been brushing your teeth for so long and so often that you may not think so. But trust us, almost everyone can get more benefit from brushing their teeth by making just a few simple changes. We’ve listed some of them for you here.

We’re always happy to demonstrate proper brushing techniques for you and answer any questions you have when you visit our Jacksonville, TX dentist office for your regular dental exams. If you need to book your next visit, call 903-625-9297.

In the meantime, here are four of our favorite ways to brush your teeth better.

Spend More Time Brushing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, every day. The best times are when you can devote a few minutes to doing it right. Yes, we said a few minutes. You should spend at least two minutes on this important task. If you’re like most people, you currently don’t brush that long; time yourself and see.

We suggest using the stopwatch on your smartphone to get in two full minutes. Or find a two-minute song you like and brush to music. If you like adding technology to everything you do, some electric toothbrushes have a timer feature. And you can also find apps to help. Brush DJ, for example, will time you with a randomly-selected song from your phone’s playlist and enable you to set brushing reminders. You can get the free app on iTunes or Google Play.

Use the Right Toothbrush

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. The small head makes it easier to get your brush into hard-to-clean areas.

You can use either an electric toothbrush or a manual brush to brush your teeth. Some electric toothbrushes come with extra features, like the aforementioned timer. Only you can decide if extra features are worth the added expense. Electric toothbrushes do work well for people who have issues with manual dexterity, like arthritis sufferers.

Practice Proper Toothbrush Maintenance

Bacteria collects on your toothbrush because it loves moist environments. To prevent bacteria from accumulating, rinse your brush with hot water after using to remove any toothpaste and store it upright where air can circulate around the head. This will keep your brush drier and make it a less attractive home for bacteria. It’s also a good idea to regularly clean the cup or toothbrush holder where you store your brush with mild soap and hot water.

Exchange your toothbrush for a new one about every three months. If the bristles look frayed or worn before then, go ahead and replace it. You should also use a new one to brush your teeth after you’ve been sick. Again, the idea is to reduce the amount on bacteria on your brush. And don’t share your brush with a loved one or anyone else.

Don’t Brush Right After Eating

You may virtuously brush your teeth after every meal, thinking it’s an oral hygiene best practice. You actually should wait a while to brush after eating. (Mind blown!) Acidic foods and beverages like citrus food, sugary drinks, and coffee weaken your tooth enamel. If your brush right after consuming them, you risk damaging your enamel.

If you can, it’s better to brush your teeth before meals that include such foods. Then drink a glass of water or rinse your mouth after eating to remove the acids from your teeth.

Even better, avoid troublesome foods and drinks, especially sugary beverages. They are especially problematic if you sip on them over a fairly long period of time, maybe keeping a can of soda at your desk. That’s because acid produced by bacteria in your mouth stays there for 30 minutes after you eat or drink. So sipping a sugary drink keeps the acid production going.

We’re happy to talk to you any time about brushing your teeth, or any other aspect of your family’s dental care! Just visit our Jacksonville, TX dentist office or give us a call at 903-625-9297.

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