You’ve probably been brushing your teeth for as long as you remember, but are you doing it the right way by following brushing basics? That’s right – when it comes to brushing, there’s a right way and a wrong way. In fact, most Americans make at least one mistake in their tooth-brushing regimen. Let’s take a few minutes to go over the basic best practices for brushing:
Brush for 2 Minutes
We know, when you’re in a hurry, you want to get your teeth brushed fast. But most Americans brush their teeth too fast. In fact, the average American spends only 45 seconds brushing. The American Dental Association recommends setting a timer or otherwise watching the time for a full two minutes to ensure you hit all the surfaces of your teeth, gums, and tongue.
When we’re trying to get something really clean, we often scrub it, so it only makes sense to do the same to our teeth, right? Wrong! Gentle brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush is all that’s needed to clean your teeth effectively. Harsher brushing can actually backfire, damaging the teeth and gums.
Use the Right Technique
The ADA recommends the following technique: Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Move the brush back and forth in tooth-wide strokes. Then brush the top, back, and front of your teeth. Turning the toothbrush vertically, use an upward stroke to brush the backs of the front teeth.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
While there’s no formal expiration date on toothbrushes, consider the three- to four-month mark as an expiration date. It’s a good practice to replace your toothbrush with the start of each new season. To get rid of germs, you should also replace your toothbrush any time you have a virus or bacterial infection.
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