If you want to keep your breath fresh and an attractive smile, you will need to keep your teeth in good shape. It may seem so simple. After all it is something most of us do twice every day. You may find it quite surprising though that many people don’t brush their teeth correctly, or not at the right time. To help you retain that twinkling smile here are 7 top tips for cleaning your teeth.
1. Brush at the Right Time
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Three times is even better. It is important to brush at night before you go to bed so that there is as little bacteria as possible to attack your teeth overnight. Then, you need to do them again in the morning to remove any plaque and bacteria that has managed to accumulate during sleep. Some people prefer to brush before breakfast, others prefer to brush after. You could also brush again after lunch, but more often than 3 times daily is not recommended. Brushing too often can damage the gums.
When cleaning your teeth most people tend to rinse the mouth with water to get rid of the toothpaste. It is actually better not to do this, but just spit out any excess toothpaste. Leaving the toothpaste in the mouth leaves a coating of fluoride on the teeth which helps to prevent plaque forming and therefore prevents tooth decay.
3. Getting the Timing Right
Most people brush their teeth either for too long, or not long enough. Ideally when you brush your teeth, you should brush them for 2 – 3 minutes. You will not get them properly clean in less than 2 minutes. Brushing for longer than 3 minutes is unlikely to get them any cleaner, but could irritate the gums.
4. The Right Brush
When choosing a toothbrush the main considerations should be the size of the brush head, and the hardness of the bristles. If you have to struggle to open your mouth wide enough to move the brush around, then the brush head is too big for you. Soft bristled brushes are better for most people as you don’t want to irritate you gums. The bristles should be hard enough to remove the plaque from your teeth, but not damage the teeth or the gums.
5. Brush the Right Way
Dentists recommend that the toothbrush should be held against the gum line at an angle of 45 degrees, and that small circular movements are made over each tooth. You should brush the outer surfaces of the teeth first keeping the 45 degree angle against the gum line, then brush the biting surfaces of the teeth. Finally brushing the inside surfaces by brushing vertically with the front bristles of the brush.
6. Keep the Brush Clean & in Good Condition
It is important to make sure that you rinse your toothbrush enough when cleaning your teeth. Remember that bacteria grows on your toothbrush so it is important to make sure you rinse it well before and after use. Also, moisture left on the brush encourages bacteria to breed so after a final rinse of the brush, shake out as much moisture as possible. When the bristles on your toothbrush become bent it is time to replace it. The recommended life of a toothbrush is 3 – 4 months. Once the bristles become bent and worn the brush is less effective.
7. Don’t Forget the Tongue and between the Teeth
When brushing your teeth it is difficult for the bristles to get between the teeth. This is often where food gets stuck, and can decay allowing bacteria to develop causing the teeth to decay. The best way to prevent this is by flossing. This should be done daily with a waxed floss if your teeth are close together, or with a tougher floss if you have rough edges to your teeth. Finally it’s all well and good keeping your teeth clean but don’t forget to give your tongue a brush while you’re at it to prevent bacteria build up and keep your breath sweet.
So there you have it, 7 Top Tips for cleaning your teeth. I bet you never realised there was so much involved in such a simple task. And, even if you knew all these things, it never hurts to be reminded of the important factors, does it?
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