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General Dentist Explains How to Brush Your Teeth – The Right Way

As a general dentist, we hear a lot of patients talk about the "2-minute" rule. This myth says that as long as you brush your teeth for two minutes, they will be clean, and your teeth will stay healthy.  While brushing for two minutes is a good idea, it is only part of the equation.  You have to brush correctly in order to get a good clean, and you need the right tools to start with. Otherwise, your teeth may be dirty after the two minutes is up.

Start by heading to the drug store to buy the right kind of toothbrush.  Many people make the mistake of using a hard toothbrush thinking that it will give them the best clean.  Unfortunately, a hard toothbrush can actually be bad for your teeth because it can strip away the enamel.  Your enamel is incredibly important and protects your teeth from hurting while eating or drinking. Without it, you may experience discomfort and need a dental procedure in order to strengthen your teeth again.  Buy a soft toothbrush to ensure that you aren't putting your teeth at risk.

While at the store, look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride.  This mineral can be used to strengthen and protect your teeth.  It is so effective that we offer fluoride treatments to children in order to prevent them from getting cavities. By simply brushing with the right type of toothpaste, you can improve your oral health.  As a general dentist, we also recommend that you buy a brand with the American Dental Association's seal of approval.

When brushing your teeth make sure that you brush in a circular pattern. This will help you to get the best possible clean, and if you use an electric toothbrush, it will do the work for you.  You also need to start at your gum line and brush towards the center of your mouth.  By doing so, plaque and food particles will be moved away from your gums, important for your overall health.  You should also avoid brushing from back to front as this can irritate your gums.

In our general dentist office, we recommend that patients brush their teeth after every meal so that sugar is removed right away.  This decreases the chance of getting cavities, and it is easy to do by simply carrying a travel toothbrush with you.  If you don't have time to do this, carry a small antiseptic mouthwash and use it after meals.  This will kill the bacteria inside of your mouth.  When you get home, make sure to brush your teeth before bed since the sugar from what you ate all day will still be there.

When brushing your teeth, don't stop until they feel clean.  If you are done and they still feel dirty, floss to see if that helps.  You may have plaque stuck in between your teeth.  If not, brush again until they feel spotless.  Schedule your teeth cleaning for twice a year to make sure that any plaque or tartar you missed is removed.

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