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Posted on: May 17, 2013
How and when tooth brushing occurs makes a difference
People should pay more attention to how they brush their teeth, according to WebMD.com. Most don’t even realize they are making the same mistakes every day and those errors can lead to eventual dental problems.
The worst missteps involve brushing at the wrong angle, not brushing long enough and using bristles that are too hard and can harm tooth enamel. Dentists agree that certain rules apply to get the most out of this vital part of oral hygiene.
There’s a good reason why most people are told by their family dentist to brush first thing in the morning and before retiring for the night. Saliva tends to dry up during the night, allowing germs and bacteria to develop because they aren’t being cleared away for a number of hours.
Getting rid of the bacteria that’s accumulated all day before one goes to bed will limit how much can fester overnight. In the morning, brushing away any night gunk has the same good effect. With this easy regimen, people don’t have to make more visits to the dentist office than necessary.
After mid-day meals, rinsing the mouth with water can be the best approach. The residual acid left after eating foods and beverages that contain citrus fruit, tomatoes and soda has a chemical reaction with tooth enamel that makes it soften and become vulnerable when brushing occurs too soon after eating. Water cleans away at least some food particles without causing corrosion.
Quickly swishing a toothpaste-loaded toothbrush across the teeth isn’t every effective. WebMD recommends spending two minutes when brushing teeth with a soft bristle brush to get the maximum coverage.
People often make the mistake of brushing horizontally, moving the toothbrush from side to side across their teeth. But enamel forms vertically, which means that brushing in that direction breaks it down faster than when brushing occurs up and down.
Holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brushing in a circular movement offers the best coverage and least corrosion on enamel. First tackle the outside, then the inside of teeth. Follow that with a quick brush on the tongue – where much bacteria resides – then the top surfaces where chewing takes place and between teeth.
When choosing toothpaste, make sure fluoride is a key ingredient. It has been shown in countless studies to eliminate bacteria that develops around gums as well as plaque build-up on teeth.