Most of us brush our teeth as part of the morning and evening routines without thinking about it. The problem is that a quick 15-30 second brushing, which can seem like a long time, isn’t enough to fully remove tarter and leftover food particles. Dentists recommend brushing for a minimum of 2 minutes to do a proper job and that can seem like a very long time.
If you really want to do a thorough job of cleaning your teeth, brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes, especially in the morning and before bedtime. Use a timer, set your cell alarm, or do whatever will give you the full two minutes.
Use a soft hand-held toothbrush or a battery-operated brush with a soft head and hold it at a 45-degree angle. Brush the upper back teeth first on the outside, then move behind them and brush the inside. Repeat with the bottom teeth. Be sure to get between any missing teeth and pay special attention to any implants, bridges, or crowns. Don’t forget to brush your tongue also as plenty of bacteria hide there.
Flossing is every bit as important as brushing because it removes what your toothbrush can’t reach. Those little bits of food and built up tartar will harden and cause problems if not removed on a regular basis. Besides, after brushing properly and flossing effectively, your mouth will feel really clean.
By limiting sweets and snacks, you will deter the harmful effects of sugar to your teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feast on sugar and your body turns it into carbohydrates that can go straight to places where you don’t want it. If you just have to have that sweet treat, try to brush your teeth after eating it or at least rinse with water to help limit the damage.
Last but not least, visit your dentist at least every six months for a professional cleaning and oral exam.