Brushing Your Teeth: Back to Basics

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Brushing your teeth was one of the first skills you learned as a child. This is awesome! Unfortunately, sometimes we never actually improve our technique and learn how to properly clean “grown-up” teeth. Here’s how to take care of your smile throughout your lifetime.

First, make sure you are using the right tool. A toothbrush–but not just any toothbrush. Make sure you have a toothbrush with soft bristles, as stiff bristles can rip up your gums and damage your tooth enamel. Make sure it is the right size for your mouth. Also, realize that toothbrushes only last 3-4 months. If you have had your toothbrush longer than that, it’s time for a new brush. If the bristles look frayed or worn, but it hasn’t been 3-4 months yet, replace the brush anyway.

Second, proper technique. Make sure you are brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Brush the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Use gentle pressure and short, back-and-forth strokes that are about tooth-wide. To brush the inside surface of your front teeth, tilt the brush into your mouth, perpendicular to the jaw, and use several up-and-down strokes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, gently, to get rid of bacteria that cause bad breath (or “halitosis”).

Third, make sure you are visiting your dentist regularly. These visits catch any problems early and should be about once every 6 months. If you are in the Atlanta, Georgia area, be sure to call Executive Park Dentistry to set your next appointment. Dr. Omar Damji and our entire team look forward to seeing you!