You can become a tooth brushing genius by doing these four things.
1. Ditch the hard/medium bristled toothbrushes
2. Brush long enough and all the right places
3. Use the correct brushing motion
4. Don’t favor one side of the mouth
1. Ditch the Hard/Medium Bristled Toothbrushes
Using toothbrushes with medium/hard bristles is not only hard on the gums and soft tissues of the mouth, it can also wear away and thin the enamel on your teeth. Using a soft or extra soft toothbrush is one simple way you can take better care of your teeth and mouth.
We all tend to think of our teeth as being strong and hard. On one hand it is true that the teeth withstand tremendous forces when biting or chewing; on the other hand, teeth are fairly easy to damage.
The Moh’s hardness scale (a scientific scale used to measure the hardness of rocks and minerals on a scale from 1 to 10) tooth enamel is rated 5. By comparison steel is rated about 4-4.5 and glass is rated 5.5. Think of how relatively easy it is to bend, shape, dent, or mar steel. Your enamel is only slightly stronger.
Did you know that tooth enamel is 96% mineral?
We have extremely high expectations of our teeth. Ideally we’d like them to last our entire lifetime: 70,80,90, even 100 years! Teeth aren’t indestructible and get exposed to lots of physical and chemical (aka – tooth decaying acids and bacteria) abuse. Don’t make their life worse by using hard and medium bristled toothbrushes.
2. Brush Long Enough and All the Right Places
The recommended tooth brushing time is 2 minutes. Do you have any idea how long you brush your teeth for?
Try using the timer on your smart phone to time yourself next time you brush your teeth.
In order to effectively brush your teeth you should be spending 10.9 seconds on each area of your mouth.
Take the time to brush each area carefully!
3. Use the Correct Brushing Motion
Have you ever seen the street sweeper machines? If so, you likely remember the large round spinning brushes they use to pick up debris. You should be brushing like a street sweeper.
If you brush in a side to side horizontal pattern you should switch to brushing in a small circular pattern. Not only is it more effective, but it’s also it’s another way to protect your teeth from getting groove and wearing away your enamel. In all honesty, switching the way you brush your teeth is going to feel SUPER awkward at first. Stick with it and after about a weeks time your muscle memory will have grown accustomed to the new motion.
4. Don’t Favor One Side of the Mouth
Did you know that people tend to brush less on the side that they are holding their toothbrush on? For example, if you’re holding your toothbrush in your right hand you are likely to brush less time on the right side. Just being aware of this will help you make a concerted effort to make sure you spend a good amount of time on both sides. Remember, 10.9 seconds in each area!
If you incorporate these suggestions into your brushing habits you’ll become a brushing genius in no time and your teeth and gums will thank you!
High five to all the great brushers of the world from the whole team at Boise Family Dental Care.
Known for Quality. Chosen for Care.