Are you brushing your teeth correctly?
Using proper technique when brushing your teeth is important. There's much more to brushing your teeth than loading up your brush with toothpaste and sawing rapidly back and forth.
What is the right technique?
First of all, that sawing action is a no-no. It will damage your enamel and miss the debris between your teeth. Instead, place your bristles gently where your teeth meet your gums. Brush down on your upper teeth. When brushing teeth on the bottom, start at your gumline and brush upward. Repeat this motion for all tooth surfaces on both sides of your teeth.
Using gentle 'wiggly' motions, glide your bristles along the top of tooth surfaces when brushing teeth, to help bristles access all nooks and crannies. Lastly, don't forget to brush your tongue because it carries bacteria too.
Use the right kind of toothbrush
Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Stiffer brushes don't clean better and they can damage tooth enamel. Your toothbrush may last for months, but make sure to get a new one if bristles start to fray. Let it air dry thoroughly after each use. Don't press hard when brushing teeth. Pressing hard isn't more effective and could cause damage.
Don't forget toothpaste
Use toothpaste when brushing at least twice a day. Not only will it help inhibit bacterial growth, which causes cavities, but it will make your mouth feel and taste clean. Rinse your mouth thoroughly, even if you're not using toothpaste. You don't want any bacteria left behind.
Get the timing right
Spend at least two minutes brushing or you may not be cleaning well enough. If it's hard to keep track of time, set a timer. Although most people think it's best to brush right after eating, it's better to wait up to an hour. This allows your saliva to neutralise the acid in your food. This way, when brushing your teeth, you won't be scrubbing them with acid!
Using proper technique when brushing can help ensure you have fewer trips to the dentist and keep healthy teeth that last you a lifetime.