Brushing is a key component when considering your dental health. Any dentist will tell you that it’s essential to your continued health, and yet they may not mention some of the trickier parts of the technique. Unfortunately, it can at times be a little more complicated than running a brush around your mouth. Below are a couple of things to hone to make sure your tooth health is top notch.

Carefully Pick Your Brush

Think of this in the same way you thought of choosing your instrument when you took mandatory band in middle school. Realize that this choice is important and will affect your immediate and distant future. Thankfully, your toothbrush choice holds no sway on your popularity around the school like your instrument did—it just affects whether or not your teeth will fall out. Choosing a toothbrush can be somewhat stressful since there are so many choices, so it’s easy to go into over-analysis paralysis. The most important aspect of your brush is the bristles. They must be soft and bendy or else they won’t be effective at scraping that gunk off of your tooth. You’ll also want to watch out for the size of the head of the toothbrush as well. If you have a smaller mouth, get a brush with a smaller head to accommodate that. It’s really all about the fit in your mouth.

Don’t Rip Open Your Gums

It should be noted that brushing harder is not the best idea. You aren’t cleaning a toilet bowl—it’s a mouth. The truth is, although plaque is abrasive if left to fester on your teeth, it’s usually pretty soft and will come up without much coaxing. Think of the brush “massaging” your tooth to produce better brushing results.

Keep Time Frames In Mind

We’re sure you’ve heard this from your dentist, but you should be brushing twice a day, and not slapping toothpaste on a brush, scrubbing for 20 seconds and spitting, legitimately brushing for two whole minutes. If you’re late for school or work, perhaps consider the work and school you’ll miss if you get a cavity. Obviously, it’s not that serious, but it is important to keep the schedule pretty accurate so that you can save money in the long run by not going to the dentist with tooth problems.

Don’t Get Sentimental About Your Toothbrush

We understand—sometimes you build a bond with a toothbrush. But good times always have to end. When the bristles start to look a little worn, i.e. they change colors, get bent, or become dirty-looking it’s time to say goodbye to your trusty friend. You’re looking at around a 3-4 month lifespan per brush on average. If you keep it in the open air to allow it to dry and not grow mold, it could last a little longer.

Don’t Run Back-And-Forth

Think of the word “massage” once more when brushing your teeth. If you’re going back-and-forth over your teeth for two minutes, you’re not getting anything done. Place your bristles at the seam of the gum and tooth and work your way down the tooth using circular up and down movements. If you do it wrong, you might be causing more damage than good.

Don’t Avoid The Gums

That seam of the gum and tooth is where all the unfriendly bacteria is camping out. So be sure to work your brush up there throughout the process to cut down on that bacteria spreading and causing problems.

Scrub The Tongue-Side

Most people avoid this because it feels kind of weird, but it’s just as important as cleaning the rest of your mouth. Get the brush back behind where people can see the pearly white and scrub down the backstage area. The debris that sits back there is often more harmful than the stuff on the front because it’s allowed to sit back there longer.

Your Missoula Dentist

As your local dentist, Bitterroot figures it’s our duty to inform our patients of the best way to continue their dental health, even when they’re not here. Continue to search for our blogs that cover everything from tooth health innovations, cosmetic dentistry, and much more. Contact us for all of your emergency dental needs and anything else you’re in need of as far as dentistry services, like veneers. We’re here for your health and convenience.