Properly brushing your teeth is as important to your health as eating the right foods and exercising. Your dental health can determine the health for the rest of your body. Many people who have poor dental health also experience problems with their throat, heart, and digestive systems.
Keep your teeth as healthy as possible by brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist’s office for a cleaning at least twice a year.
Steps to Properly Brush Your Teeth
1. Put a dime-sized dollop of toothpaste on your toothbrush.
2. Angle your toothbrush at 45-degrees so it hits your gums at a 45-degree angle.
3. Begin brushing each tooth in a circular motion.
4. Continue this process until you have brushed every tooth. Try to keep brushing for at least two minutes, paying equal amounts of attention to each tooth.
5. Floss between your teeth with dental floss or a dental stick to remove food particles and plaque from your gums.
6. Rinse with water and mouthwash (if desired).
[RELATED: Find out everything you need to know about any common dental procedure in our comprehensive guide: Common Dental Procedures Explained.]
The Importance of Brushing Your Teeth
Your teeth go through a lot every day. At each meal, food particles can get stuck to your teeth and under your gums. These food particles can attract bacteria and encourage the growth of plaque.
If plaque and bacteria aren’t removed, they can cause cavities and recessed gums; both cavities and recessed gums can cause even bigger dental headaches. Brushing your teeth twice a day is the number one defense you have against tooth decay and bad breath.
How often to Brush Your Teeth?
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day—once in the morning and once before bed.
Your teeth develop a bacterial film on them each night, and you’ll want to remove that film in the morning after you wake up. In addition to keeping your oral health in check, brushing every morning can also help freshen your breath for the rest of the day.
At night, you’ll want to brush your teeth to remove the plaque that has formed on your teeth throughout the day. You’ll also want to remove any food particles to ensure they don’t accelerate bacterial growth while you sleep.
Ideally, you’ll want to brush your teeth after every meal. Yet sometimes brushing your teeth more than twice a day isn’t possible. At the very least, rinse your mouth with water after every meal, and try to chew sugar-free gum to remove any food particles that stick to your teeth and gums. Look for a gum that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that has antibacterial properties.
How Long to Brush Your Teeth?
Most dentists agree that you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes. You should spend equal amounts of time on each quadrant of your mouth (approximately 30 seconds for each quadrant) before moving on to the next section.
Regardless of the amount of time you spend brushing your teeth, you should always try to brush each one of your teeth and give each tooth the same amount of attention.
Brushing your teeth should only take approximately four minutes each day; yet, the benefits are immeasurable. If you experience any discomfort or bleeding while brushing, make sure to contact your dentist to rule out gum diseases, such as gingivitis.