Brushing your teeth is essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Our North York dentists explain how to brush your teeth properly and why it's so important to practise at home.
The importance of preventive oral hygiene cannot be overstated. This includes going to your dentist for regular cleanings and exams, as well as brushing and flossing regularly at home.
Thorough teeth brushing is important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. It helps to remove bacteria that can cause tooth decay and plaque that can cause gum disease.
Here, our dentists break down proper brushing techniques.
Proper Brushing Techniques
Clean every surface of every tooth in your mouth - the chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side.
Brush in a sweeping motion at a 45-degree angle. Use a downward sweeping motion for the upper teeth and an upward sweeping motion for the lower teeth. Brush only the chewing surfaces back and forth.
How Often to Brush
Ideally, you should brush after every meal but wait at least 30 minutes after your meal before brushing. At the very least, brush twice a day and always before you go to bed.
How Long to Brush
Don't rush it - A thorough brushing should take at least two minutes, but no longer than four minutes. You can always try timing yourself to make sure your brushing routine is long enough.
Using the Right Brush
Use a soft brush with rounded bristles that allow you to reach your back teeth.
There are many different brush shapes and sizes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you.
What Happens if You Don't Brush?
Our North York dentists have some bad news for people who think they can get away with not brushing their teeth. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended because the consequences of not brushing can be severe. Here's a quick rundown of what can happen if you don't brush your teeth regularly.
- Stained teeth - This is especially true if you drink coffee, wine, or smoke cigarettes.
- Tooth decay - Plaque forms on your teeth if you don't brush them, causing the enamel to deteriorate. This results in bad breath and, in the long run, can lead to major problems requiring crowns and root canals.
- Gum disease - Also known as periodontal disease, this occurs when the bacteria in plaque cause swollen and bleeding gums.
- Long-term health problems - Periodontal disease is a common result of not brushing one's teeth, and it has been linked to an increased risk of kidney disease, dementia, and certain cancers.