By Marli Naidoo
How difficult can it be? You take your toothbrush and you brush your teeth. However, it is not that simple: most people don’t brush as well as could be possible.
Start by getting the correct toothbrush for the task. Whether it is a battery-driven or muscle-driven model, you have to reach everywhere inside your mouth. A smaller head usually is better as it will definitely be able to clean every nook and cranny effectively.
It is also very important that your toothbrush’s bristles are soft and pliable. A portion of your teeth is hidden approximately one millimetre under your gums, and is also affected by plaque. When you brush, your toothbrush’s bristles should be able to bend in order to remove all the food particles beneath the gums. Hold your toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees to your teeth when you want to get rid of the plaque and those food particles, and in this way reach under the gums.
Don’t brush your teeth too hard. Plaque is soft and need not be scrubbed off. Rather see it as a massaging of your teeth.
Never be in a hurry and take short-cuts. Brush twice a day for two minutes per session. You can set a timer, or slowly count to 120.
Try to not get too attached to your toothbrush. When the bristles no longer stand erect or they become discoloured, it is time to throw it away. The lifespan of a toothbrush generally is three to four months.
Don’t brush horizontally, to and fro. You heard correctly, you have been brushing your teeth incorrectly all these years! Start at the edge of your gums and move your toothbrush up and down in circle movements. Once again, imagine you are massaging your teeth, not scrubbing them.
To clean the back of your front teeth properly, you can old your toothbrush vertically and then move it up and down against your teeth. Also remember to brush your tongue.
Don’t brush your teeth directly after a meal. Your mouth is full of food acids, that could erode your teeth when you brush. Wait 20 minutes so that your spittle can work away most of the acid. You can also flush away the acidity by first rinsing your mouth with luke-warm water.
Floss every day. Food particles and plaque between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach, could cause tooth decay.
Healthy teeth are not only promoted by the correct cleansing routine, but also by avoiding the wrong foods. Eat a lot of vegetables, and stay away from too many sugary drinks and foods. Also visit your dentist regularly to prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
Mouth Healthy: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth