Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important dental hygiene steps you can take each day. Brushing your teeth removes food and plaque, helping prevent tartar buildup, enamel breakdown and cavities. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and Dr. James J. McCall recommends adding in a third brushing after your third meal.

When to Brush

Most people brush their teeth in the morning and at bedtime. This is a good routine, but you may wish to consider brushing about 30 minutes after each meal. This will remove food before it has a chance to cause problems, and will also help improve your breath. Keep in mind that you should wait for at least 30 minutes if you ate something acidic, as these foods can weaken your tooth enamel. Brushing your teeth too soon can damage the enamel.

How to Brush

Brushing your teeth seems simple, but unfortunately many people make mistakes that could damage their teeth.

First, start with the right amount of toothpaste. You only need about a pea-sized amount on a soft-bristle brush that you replace every three months. Brush for about two minutes, but do not be rough with your teeth. Sawing at your teeth will not get them cleaner, and can lead to gum recession. If your gums recede too much, the nerves will become exposed, causing sensitivity.

Next, be sure to brush all sides of your teeth, including the inside surfaces. It can be easy to miss some inside surfaces when switching positioning of the brush. Finally, when you are done, remove food and bacteria from the tongue by sweeping the brush back and front across your tongue.

Do you have further questions about brushing technique? Talk to Dr. James J. McCall to discuss your oral health and brushing technique, and ensure you are caring for your teeth properly.

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