As children, we are taught how to brush our teeth, but we rarely significantly change our habits as we age. Brushing being a habit is a good thing for your dental health, but there are always going to be ways to improve your teeth brushing skills. In today’s blog, your Richfield, MN, dentist will share some tips that can help people of all ages brush to keep their teeth healthy between checkups and cleanings.
Keep Your Toothbrush Fresh
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends getting a new toothbrush at least every four months. However, if your toothbrush has bristles that are broken, frayed, splayed out, or worn down, it is already time to replace it. Bristles that are not still standing straight up can’t clean your teeth as well because they are not able to reach all of the hard to get to spots between your teeth where plaque and bits of food can hide. So, keep your brushing as effective (and sanitary) as possible by replacing your toothbrush regularly.
Store It Well
How you store your toothbrush matters more than you might think. If you want to keep your toothbrush clean (and you should), storing your toothbrush with the bristles pointing up is imperative. A wet toothbrush can harbor a ton of icky bacteria, so storing it in a puddle by the sink or stored upright but with the bristles facing downward creates a welcoming environment for them. So, it is important to store your toothbrush in such a way that it can dry completely to keep things sanitary.
Studies have shown that most people only brush their teeth for an average of 45 seconds each time they brush. While this is certainly better than not brushing at all, it is nowhere near the recommended amount of time to get your teeth truly clean: two minutes. If you have trouble feeling out how long too minutes is, especially if you’ve been in the habit of brushing without timing yourself, you may find it helpful to try one or more of the following tips:
- Get an electric toothbrush with a two minute timer
- Use the timer function on your phone
- Place an analog clock in your bathroom so that you can time yourself
- Put on your favorite song and stop brushing once it hits the two minute mark
Don’t Press Too Hard
It may seem a little backward, but pressing hard when brushing is actually worse than pressing softly, or with a medium pressure. Pressing too hard can wear down the outer layers of your teeth and hurt your gums, and the same goes for using a toothbrush with firm bristles. Your safest, most comfortable option is to get a toothbrush with soft bristles and use a medium amount of pressure.
Get a Deeper Clean In Our Office
Updating your teeth brushing routine can do wonders for your dental hygiene. To continue your oral health routine in-office, schedule a visit with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.