Did you know there was a wrong way to brush your teeth? It’s not uncommon to find that patients are aware of the proper way to brush their teeth, which can contribute to plaque buildup. Sometimes, patients just brush back and forth and often miss the backs of the teeth or even the gum line where your teeth meet the fleshy pink area in your mouth. This leaves many important areas that are not being brushed and can be causing harmful side effects in your mouth.
Can you remember when you learned how to brush your teeth? Most people can’t because they were taught at such a young age. However, as we get older and have a better grasp over our own dental health, we don’t usually revisit the subject. Dr. Beaufils always likes to offer his patients a quick refresher course in his office if they think they aren’t brushing their teeth correctly.
If you, too, need a quick “brush up” on the proper brushing technique, read on; our guide below tackles some common mistakes and shows you how to keep your pearly whites healthy and beautiful!
Brushing your teeth is something you should be doing on a daily basis, preferably twice a day, for up to 2 minutes each time. However, many patients find that they are experiencing pain, discomfort, or even some bleeding when they brush their teeth. If all other possible causes have been eliminated, such as gingivitis or general health conditions, you could simply be brushing your teeth wrong.
One of the biggest problems patients have is simply choosing the wrong toothbrush! Some patients don’t even realize there are different kinds of toothbrushes or what the difference is between them. The first step you should take towards perfecting proper brushing technique is getting yourself a toothbrush that truly works for you. Pick one with the right grip and length for you and talk to your dentist about the best type of bristles for you. If you find traces of blood when you are brushing, a soft bristled brush may be best. Dr. Beaufils is always happy to recommend quality dental products to his patients upon request.
Brushing too hard can also be detrimental to your teeth and gums. It seems silly, but too much brushing or brushing that is too rough can be harmful to your oral health. Your teeth are strong bones covered by a resilient layer of tooth enamel, but your gums are much more sensitive. Aggressive brushing can cause the thin top layer of gum that hugs your teeth to recede, which is not good for your teeth. This exposes the area of your teeth that are not protected by enamel, and therefore are much more susceptible to decay and bacteria.
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Dr. Beaufils also finds that patients have trouble with how they physically brush their teeth. That is to say, the motions that many adults and children make are not cleaning as well as you think. The best way to brush your teeth is at a 45-degree angle, along the gum line. This ensures that you dislodge any residual bacteria or food particles that have found their way into the crevices of your mouth.
Most patients use basic back-and-forth motions and focus primarily on the front of their mouth. While this may help to remove built-up plaque on your two front teeth, it is not particularly helpful for all the bacteria that can build up in the back of your mouth. After all, you use your molars and surrounding teeth more often for chewing and biting your food, right? So naturally, this is where tartar forms the most.
Your tongue is also a huge contributor to tooth decay and gum disease, and many people are unaware of all the things that can cling to your tongue, even if you use mouthwash regularly. Incorporating a thorough tongue brushing or even using a tongue scraper can be a great way to ensure you get rid of all the nasty bacteria that can live in your mouth.
In some cases, you may need to have a deep dental cleaning done to eliminate any tartar or plaque that has developed underneath the surface of your gums. This can happen when you forget to brush your teeth or if you’re not brushing properly. Following a deep cleaning, or even a regular teeth cleaning, your mouth will be much cleaner and will provide an excellent environment for you to practice your newly learned brushing techniques!
Beaufils Dental offers complete health dentistry services to patients residing in Cooper City and the neighboring communities. Contact us at 954-252-1390 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Beaufils today!