One of the most important tasks a dentist has is to educate their patients on how to properly take care of their teeth while they are at home. A professional cleaning and examination can reveal weak spots and cavities but it is up to the patient to take charge of their oral health when their dentist is not looking. As a dentist, Dr. Shields discusses with her patients time and time again how to care for their teeth, however it never hurts to offer a refresher course. Here are some helpful tips on toothbrushing to help you keep your teeth and gums safe all year long.
Why is it Important?
Daily oral care is one of the most important acts of wellness you can perform. The mouth is the gateway to the entire body and by keeping it clean and free of harmful bacteria you are doing more than just keeping your breath fresh, you’re fighting tooth loss and enabling your body to work at its peak.
The immediate effects of tooth brushing include a fresh bright smile, a reprieve from morning or after-dinner breath, and reducing plaque that can lead to cavities. These are the first reasons people brush their teeth in the morning and at night. But, by practicing this habit, you’re doing much more than than that. By brushing your teeth for two minutes twice each day you are protecting your gums from inflammation that can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is one of the most disastrous diseases of the mouth. Unchecked, it can lead to tooth and bone loss and has been linked to other chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and pancreatic cancer. When you take care of your teeth, you’re taking care of your entire body.
How To Brush Your Teeth
Many people believe that they know how to brush their teeth. Since we’ve been doing it since before we can remember it’s not a crazy assumption to make. But, as we age and the needs of our teeth change so too should our brushing habits. Further, nobody likes to think of themselves as lazy, but over time we can unknowingly shorten or simplify their routine. This can have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of an oral health routine. Thankfully relearning how to brush your teeth can be easy, and with the help of your Jacksonville, Florida dentist fun as well.
- Choose a toothbrush. The type of toothbrush you choose to brush with can affect your habit greatly. Any brush with the ADA seal of acceptance has been rigorously tested to ensure that it is safe and works effectively to remove plaque and harmful bacteria. Most toothbrushes in the dental care aisle will hold that distinction. However if you choose a tool that you are excited to use, you will have a lot more fun brushing your teeth and be more apt to do so for your two minutes twice daily. Electric toothbrushes with round, oscillating heads are particularly effective at removing plaque and bacteria from the mouth. Many now also come with fun features such as timers and warning lights if you’re brushing too hard.
- Pick a toothpaste. Choosing a toothpaste you like can also help you enjoy your brushing experience. There are many flavors and types available. Choose one that makes you happy to brush!
- Get to brushing! Brushing your teeth is easy and relearning how to do it is easy as well. It’s important to get all the surfaces of the tooth and can be beneficial to separate the mouth into quadrants to make it easier. This way instead of worrying if you’re making it to two minutes you can just count to 30 then move to another quadrant. Use circular motions to clear food particles and bacteria from the surfaces of the teeth. Go back and forth over the biting surfaces of the teeth. And when you’re at the gumline don’t forget to angle the brush so that you can clean this bacteria-prone area thoroughly.
- Ask For Help. If you feel like you’re not doing as well as you could be, don’t hesitate to ask for some advice at your next dental appointment. Dr. Shields is an expert in toothbrushing and can help you update and improve your routine.