A healthy smile can last a lifetime if you’re cleaning it properly each day. Chances are, you learned how to clean your teeth before you learned to tie your shoes. But your smile and dexterity have greatly matured since then!
Are you still cleaning your teeth properly each day? Here are some important tips to keep in mind.
Make Sure You’re Brushing Correctly
Whenever you brush, you need to make sure you’re making smaller strokes on each tooth instead of wide back-and-forth scrubbing. Doing so will remove more plaque buildup across the curved surfaces of your enamel and any dental work.
Angle your toothbrush slightly toward your gum tissues to clean plaque where it’s heaviest: right along the gumline. Gently stimulate your gums while you’re brushing, but don’t push too hard. Slight pressure with a soft or extra-soft toothbrush is all that’s needed.
How long does it take to clean your teeth with a toothbrush? At least two minutes. Be sure that you’re brushing twice a day (morning and evening). If you have the time, brushing mid-day is also helpful.
If you have trouble brushing long or thoroughly enough, consider investing in an electric toothbrush. Position the brush on each tooth for several seconds and use the built-in timer to ensure you’re brushing for the proper length of time.
Does Your Toothpaste Choice Matter?
When you’re trying to figure the best way to clean your teeth, it’s more about your brushing method than toothpaste brands. But you do want to use a fluoride toothpaste for anti-cavity purposes. If you have specific problems such as sensitivity or stain, our Kearny Mesa dentist can help you select the best toothpaste formula to use each day.
You’re Cleaning Between Every Tooth, Every Day
You can have the most expensive electric toothbrush on the market but it won’t clean between your teeth or under the edges of your gum tissues in those tight spaces. That’s why it’s crucial to clean between each of your teeth with a floss, floss pick, or even a water flosser.
For most of us, traditional floss works just fine. But we have to use it properly in order to thoroughly clean the spaces between our teeth.
- Wrap the floss in a “C” shape around the side of your tooth.
- Slide up and down several times.
- Allow the floss to slip below the edge of the gums to clean the “sulcus” area.
- Lift the floss up and over the pointed gum tissue (papilla) to move it to the next tooth.
- Never pop floss straight down between teeth.
If your gums bleed when you brush and floss, you most likely have gingivitis or gum disease. It can take up to two weeks of daily flossing and proper brushing for gingivitis symptoms to resolve.
Without flossing your teeth each day, it isn’t possible to clean your teeth properly. Floss reaches approximately 40% of your tooth surfaces that are inaccessible with a toothbrush. But don’t worry, if flossing is a challenge, water flossing is nearly just as (if not more) effective!
Preventive Teeth Cleaning (in Kearny Mesa)
No matter how well you brush and floss, you need to add a professional teeth cleaning into your normal oral hygiene routine. How many teeth cleanings per year do you need? For most people, it’s two. That’s one every six months. However, if you’ve had gum disease in the past or struggle with heavy buildup, you may need a dental cleaning/periodontal maintenance visit as frequently as every 3-4 months.
The team at Landmark Dental Arts will help you understand what’s going on with your smile during your checkup so that you can plan accordingly. Our goal is to keep things prevention focused so that we only need to examine and clean your teeth twice a year. But when you need more assistance, we’ll always be here to help!