Dental hygiene isn’t really that complicated, it only needs to be done daily. You only need to do it twice a day and it takes about two minutes, this will guarantee a healthy mouth.
We have to brush our teeth because otherwise we would accumulate plaque, which is a film that contains bacteria that will coat your teeth and failure to remove it will contribute to developing gum disease and tooth decay. When we brush our teeth, it stops plaque from building up.
It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. It also depends on each individual, since maybe someone has a particular condition that can require them to brush more often.
It should take at least two minutes to brush your teeth, that way you guarantee that you’re cleaning every surface of the teeth.
For some people that have dexterity problems, using an electric toothbrush is more comfortable and it makes it easier for them to reach all the areas, but in general, either manual or electric toothbrush will work just fine. What’s really important here is that the job is done properly.
It’s a good idea to use a toothbrush with a small head and their bristles be in an angled arrangement, having both long and short bristles with round-ended bristles.
The toothpaste you use is also very important, the right concentration of fluoride is to be considered. For adults, check that the toothpaste has at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.
- First you should wet your toothbrush and apply a small amount of toothpaste to it. Ignore the commercial you watch on TV, that is an unnecessary amount of toothpaste. You should use a thin strip or small blob.
- Start with your upper molars, pointing the bristles towards the gum line at a 45° angle when brushing the outside or inner surface (vestibular and palatine respectively). Use short, circular motions.
- After about 20 seconds, roll the toothbrush away from the gum line so that it sweeps debris and plaque from the tooth.
- Start moving towards the center of your mouth, using the same technique as you move along the areas of your teeth, and then continue to the other side until you finish in the molar section opposite to where you began.
- Make sure you cover all the surfaces of your upper teeth before moving down, both inside and out.
- Proceed with the same motions and order but now with the lower teeth, beginning with the molars on one side and moving along until you reach the opposite side. Again, remember to brush thoroughly all sides of the teeth and keeping a 45° angle with the bristles of the toothbrush.
- It’s important to also brush the back surface of the front teeth, upper and lower. To do so, use the tip of the toothbrush head.
- One area that we sometimes forget to clean properly is the tongue. It’s just as important to clean it as the teeth, since plaque and bacteria accumulate there too. Use a gentle, circular motion to brush your tongue
- Rinse with water or mouthwash.