Everyone knows that clean teeth develop less cavities, and that regular brushing and flossing is the foundation of proper dental care. Right? We all know that, don’t we? Well, a reminder never hurts.
Brush Up On The Basics
Brushing teeth does two things. It removes leftover food from the various surfaces of your teeth, and it disturbs the colonies of bacteria that gather and grow in the nooks and crannies of your mouth and feast on the food that gets left behind. Flossing takes care of the food and bacteria that get caught between teeth, where a brush cannot reach.
Tooth decay happens when the bacteria release acids after digesting the sugars in your mouth. Those acids are what dissolve the hard enamel of your tooth, making room for more bacteria and eventually building a nice shelter for themselves inside your tooth. You want to get them off long before that happens. So, you brush properly.
Proper toothbrushing starts with a proper toothbrush. Get a soft one – hard bristles aren’t necessary and can damage your teeth and gums – and one that is the right size for your mouth, able to turn all the right corners. Replace your toothbrush every three months to make sure it’s doing its job.
Get a fluoride toothpaste. There is a dizzying array of types and brands available these days; so long as it has fluoride and tastes good, the choice is up to you. Fluoride helps to rebuild weak spots in your enamel, and hardens the calcium matrix so it better resists the bacterial acid attack.
Good Form, Good Form
Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle where your teeth meet your gums, and brush gently but thoroughly from there to the tops of your teeth. Repeat all over, on the inside surfaces of the teeth as well. Brush over the flat working surfaces of your teeth. That should take care of most of the bacteria and food threatening your pearly whites.
Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Bacteria gather here, too, and need to be removed. Besides, the cleaner your tastebuds, the better your next meal will taste. All this should take about two or three minutes. Now floss between your teeth, working the floss up and down inside every gap, and behind your back teeth. Go easy again, there’s no need for excessive force here.
That’s it! Twice a day, two or three minutes at a stretch. Make it an automatic thing, a basic part of your routine that you just never miss, and your six-month dentist checkups might be a lot shorter than you expect.