Idaho Dental Hygiene

Brush Your Teeth for a Bright Smile

By: Michelle Tunquist

It’s no surprise that brushing your teeth is important for keeping your teeth clean and healthy.  No doubt you’ve heard it from every dentist you’ve ever visited and also from your parents as a kid.  Brush your teeth at least twice a day to keep your smile bright.

Importance of Brushing Your Teeth

There are tons of reasons for why brushing your teeth is important.  Though kids (and some adults) argue that it is so hard and time consuming, it really is a fast, easy way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Two minutes of brushing in the morning, and two minutes at night before bed and you get all these great benefits:

  • Save Money. Brushing teeth is a great way to save money.  Dental work is expensive, and in many cases, easily avoided.  Don’t pay hundreds of dollars to fill a cavity when you can easily prevent cavities by brushing your teeth.  Forgetting to brush and avoiding the dentist can lead to more expensive procedures down the road, like root canals and crowns.  Save your money by brushing your teeth every day.
  • Reduce Chance of Infection. Brushing your teeth is a simple way to reduce your chance of having an infection.  When your teeth get infected, you can get a painful abscess in your gums.  Avoid the pain just by brushing your teeth.
  • Reduces Bacteria. Bacteria in your mouth can lead to tooth decay.  Brushing your teeth gets rid of these nasty bacteria that can cause decay or infection.
  • Removes Sugar. Bacteria love the sugar in your mouth.  When the bacteria feed on the sugar they create an acid that decays your teeth.  Brushing your teeth will remove this sugar from your mouth before the bacteria can feast.
  • Prevent Tooth Decay. Bacteria eat the sugar in your mouth, creating an acid that wears down your teeth causing decay known as cavities.  Simply brush your teeth and reduce your chance of having tooth decay.
  • Reduces Gum Disease. Your gums also need to be cleaned.  Gum disease is painful and can be avoided, simply by–yes, brushing your teeth!
  • Keeps Breath Fresh. Those pesky bacteria also make your breath smell.  Guess what, brushing not only removes those stinky bacteria, but the fresh scent of your toothpaste helps to keep your breath minty fresh.
  • Remove Stains. Soda, coffee, cigarettes and some foods stain your teeth.  Brushing can remove those stains over time.

Do it Right

Since we all know that we should brush our teeth everyday, it is surprising that not everyone is doing it the right way.  Here are some tips for how to get the most out of brushing your teeth.

  • Choose the Right Toothbrush. There are a lot of different choices out there for toothbrushes.  Always choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.  Soft bristles can bend and get under the gums.  Hard bristles can wear away at teeth and gums.  The important thing is to remove plaque, and soft bristles can do this just fine.
  • Be Careful with Pressure. Many people think that it is necessary to really scrub teeth to get them clean and they apply too much pressure.  Since plaque is soft, teeth don’t actually need to be scrubbed with a lot of pressure.  Just like with hard bristles, too much pressure can harm teeth and gums.  Gently massage teeth and gums to remove plaque.
  • Take Your Time. It is easy to get tempted to do a rush job instead of a thorough brushing.  When you wake up late and are in a hurry to get to work, or if you’ve had a long day and just want to get in bed, it is tempting to do a quick brushing.  It is important to brush for at least 2 min in the morning and again before bed.  Don’t rush through the brushing.  Take your time and do it right. Make sure to get every tooth on both sides.
  • Change Your Brush. Unfortunately it is common for people to keep their toothbrush for too long.  Change your brush every 3 to 4 months.  Never share your toothbrush with anyone else, and store it in open air so that it can dry thoroughly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Circular Motion. Another common habit is for people to brush back and forth, from left to right.  However, it is much better to start from the gum and move up and down in a circular motion.
  • Remember Your Gums. A spot where many people miss is right by the gum line.  It is important to have a bristles that bend and can get between the gum and tooth.  This will remove the plaque that has a tendency to build up in that spot.
  • Wait. Don’t rush to brush immediately after eating.  If you have acid on your teeth, the brushing can cause additional damage.  Wait 15 to 20 minutes before brushing or at least rinse with water first.  This will remove some of the acid so that your teeth are not harmed.
  • Use Floss & Mouthwash. At least once a day (twice is better), floss and use mouthwash too.  Food can get stuck between teeth and your toothbrush can’t reach every sport.  Floss can remove food and buildup between teeth and mouthwash can reach throughout your mouth.  A good thorough cleaning is important to keep your smile bright.

Idaho Falls Dentist

Brushing is important for daily care of your teeth.  It is also important to visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.  Though good brushing will make tooth decay less likely, some problems can still happen.  Frequent visits keep small problems from turning into large problems.  If you live in the Idaho Falls area, visit our family dentistry to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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