Brushing your teeth is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent plaque buildup, cavities and gum problems. While some people are more prone to tooth problems than others, everyone must brush regularly to avoid tooth decay, and costly dental procedures. While everyone seems fully aware that tooth brushing is a necessary part of the daily routine, the number of people who are unaware of how often to brush, how much to brush, and exactly how to effectively brush teeth is staggering. We’ve collected some information that should help to clear up the ever important question of “how often should I brush my teeth?”

How Often Should You Brush?

Most dentists agree that teeth should be brushed at least twice a day. Morning, after you’ve had breakfast, and evening after your dinner, is generally considered acceptable. While twice a day is a general recommendation, most dental professionals agree that you should brush your teeth three times a day if possible, or after each meal. Brushing after each meal helps to clean the teeth of any food debris, which can help bacteria grow and can lead to tooth decay.

The Best Way to Brush

The best way to brush your teeth is gentle, suggest dental professionals. People who brush too hard can potentially erode the tooth and irritate the gums. Most agree that gentle brushing for two to three minutes is ideal. You should angle the brush at a forty-five degree angle and brush against the gum line gentle, on both sides of the tooth. This helps to remove debris from the gum line. When brushing the surface of the teeth, most dentists agree that the brush should be laid flat on the tooth and brushed back and forth. It is important to get to every tooth, including the ones further back in the mouth. In fact, the teeth at the back of the mouth are the ones most responsible for chewing, and special attention should be paid to them.

Brushing Tips and Tricks

Many people use the wrong toothbrush for their mouth. Dentists suggest picking a toothbrush that fits comfortable in your mouth. If you are fighting to get the brush to the back teeth, it means the brush is too big and isn’t doing an adequate job in the back of the mouth. The less comfortable brushing is, the less likely you are to brush the necessary times of day, so be careful when picking a toothbrush.

Many people do not change their toothbrush often enough. Dentists and experts suggest you change your toothbrush at least every three months. If you have gum disease, the brush should be changed once a month or once every six weeks. Brushes wear out over time and can keep bacteria locked into the bristles, which means your teeth aren’t getting as clean as they could, so remember to swap out the brush.

You can also use your toothbrush to brush your tongue. This can help remove excess bacteria, and it will freshen your breath. To do this, simply swipe your tongue gently with the brush. Be more gentle on your tongue than you are on your teeth, as the surface is soft and delicate. Some toothbrushes come with a scraper on the reverse side of the brush, if you have one, use it.

Looking for a local dentist? Try member Smile Matters in Fremont, CA.