Do you ever wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and think of the most random things like what you’re going to have for breakfast, or practice the next presentation you need to deliver to your managers or teachers? … All while brushing your teeth? No worries, we’ve all done it!
Daily life habits are too often underestimated and we tend to easily forget about them. They represent a tiny portion of our day because, let’s face it, we don’t do it for long but we do it every day at the same time and it tends to become mechanical. However, it is in those small daily habits, when done well, that you end up developing a long, healthy and steady dental hygiene. You’ve guessed it? Yes, I am talking about the importance of toothbrushing.
Brushing your teeth can sound like an obvious thing to do, but it is often done incorrectly. So here’s a few tips and tricks to help you brush your teeth the right way!
So what exactly do I need?
✅ A toothbrush
Brush your teeth 2 to 3 times a day for a total duration of 3 minutes each time. Once prior to or post breakfast, after lunch (optional) and before going to sleep. Make sure you wait between 15 to 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything before you brush your teeth. In fact, some food or drinks can be very acidic or contain a lot of sugar. These soften the enamel of your teeth for which its primary purpose is to protect your teeth from damage. If brushing your teeth too soon, you risk damaging the enamel of your teeth being in its weakest state. Try keeping a regular routine in order to avoid uncomfortable situations like bad breath 😉
Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If you use it for too long, the bristles of the brush loses its efficiency.
So far, so good? Ok but...what about the type of toothbrush you may ask? There are so many choices !
There has always been debates surrounding the efficiency of manual vs. electric toothbrushes. With today’s technology, electric toothbrushes have become very performant in its efficiency to brush, however, there have also been doubts about its impact on our environment. Still, one cannot fully determine if one type of toothbrush is better than the other in terms of maintaining a good oral health. Dr. Nacar (dentist from Nacar Dental Clinic) suggests that if you are someone with dexterity and a good maneuverability, a manual toothbrush does the job perfectly.
Also, did you know you could start saving the planet by the simple act of brushing your teeth? In fact, bamboo toothbrushes have been highly valued as an alternative to plastic toothbrushes. So by choosing a bamboo toothbrush, not only you are maintaining good oral health but you are also helping the environment! Who knew brushing your teeth could be so rewarding? 😉
✅ Fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride prevents the evolution of starting cavities and is found in toothpaste, floss and mouthwash.
“In reality, any toothbrush cleans only 65% of the teeth surface whether manual or electric” says Marc Nacar. Therefore, floss eradicates the other 35%!
Remember to floss after brushing your teeth (once a day is enough). It helps eradicate all the small food particles that got stuck in between your teeth. If food stays in between your teeth for a long time, it develops cavities.
✅ Mouthwash (optional)
Mouthwash is another efficient supplement to eliminate the rest of the bacteria in your mouth after brushing your teeth. There are many various types of mouthwash; some can be for bad breath, dry mouth or preventing plaque or gum disease. Make sure to ask your dentist or hygienist which type of mouthwash you need.
✅ Tongue scraper (optional)
Once you are done brushing, try to use a tongue scraper or your toothbrush can do the job too. By scrubbing your tongue you are eliminating the rest of the bacteria that stays on the tongue.
What happens if I don’t brush my teeth regularly?
Brushing your teeth is more than just putting some toothpaste on a toothbrush, scrub a few times and count the seconds until you’re done. In fact, too often, dentists and hygienists are faced with patients suffering from large cavities and gum diseases due to the simple accumulation of dental biofilm. Ok now what’s that about? Dental biofilm is a thin film of food by-products, saliva and bacteria covering the surface of your teeth.
It is usually colorless and that’s the tricky part because most of the time, you don’t notice it, but it’s there and it stays. This sticky and colorless deposit on the surface of your teeth can be easily eradicated when brushing your teeth regularly and correctly. However, if not doing so, dental biofilm builds up and becomes stronger and harder and is known as dental calculus or tartar. This hard and dry deposit can only be eliminated by a dentist or a hygienist with the adequate treatment tools. Therefore, brushing your teeth regularly (twice or three times a day), prevents you from cavities and gum diseases.
Are there specific movements to brush my teeth correctly?
The answer is yes and make sure you brush your teeth softly to prevent worn out teeth in the future!
Start with adding a little bit of water and a small drop (the size of a pea) of toothpaste on your toothbrush.
Insert your toothbrush in your mouth at about 45-degree angle to your gums and brush softly your front teeth.
Brush in small circular strokes and make sure you reach your back molars and the upper area of your chewing surfaces too.
Then, flip your toothbrush to the back of your teeth and repeat these movements. Once you are done with the upper part, flip your toothbrush to the lower part of your mouth to get to the inside surface of your teeth and repeat the same circular movements at the front and straight movements in the back.
Brush your tongue with a tongue scraper or your toothbrush.
Finally, spit out the toothpaste, saliva and water and rinse your mouth with cold and fresh water!
This article from Healthline provides you with a nice visual support to understand each step. You can also check this YouTube video that guides you through the steps.
Here you go, you now have all the tips and tricks to a long and steady oral health, all while being environmentally friendly! Hoping you’ll adopt a new and enjoyable tooth brushing experience!
Author: Angela Nacar Article supervised by Dr. Marc Nacar from Nacar Dental Clinic
Website: https://www.nacardental.com/ Instagram: @nacardentalclinic Facebook: Nacar Dental Clinic