How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way

dentist with patient

To maintain the best possible oral health, an efficient at-home oral hygiene routine is important. Your oral health can impact your overall health. At Parker West Dental Associates in Plano, TX, Dr. Tim Nguyen teaches his patients the best oral hygiene tips to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Learning the best way to brush your teeth will help prevent tooth pain in the future. Combined with regular dental exams and dental cleanings, you can ensure that your teeth and gums are looking and feeling their best. Read on to learn more about the best way to maintain your oral health.

Should you floss or brush first?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you brush or floss your teeth first in Plano, TX. What matters most is that you do both every day. Dr. Nguyen suggests flossing first as it loosens plaque between the teeth. It also removes food particles and debris from between the teeth that brushing alone cannot remove. When you eliminate this plaque that causes tooth decay, your oral health is improved. Brushing alone cannot remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, which makes flossing especially important. The order in which you brush and floss is your own preference, but the focus should be on getting your teeth and gums as clean as possible.

How to brush your teeth correctly

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice daily. It’s also important to replace your toothbrush every few months or when the bristles fray. Always use ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. To start brushing, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle focusing on your gums. Move your toothbrush back and forth gently to brush the inner, outer, and chewing sides of the teeth. Brush each of the four quadrants of the mouth for at least 30 seconds each. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, where harmful bacteria lie and can lead to tooth decay.

How not to brush your teeth

There are many ways you can incorrectly brush your teeth, including:

1. Using the wrong brush: Always choose a toothbrush with soft bristles that can bend freely. A small-headed brush is recommended since it makes it easier to get to hard-to-reach areas.

2. Brushing too hard: Never scrub your teeth too hard as this can lead to swollen, red, and bleeding gums. Plaque is soft, so you don’t need to brush hard to remove it.

3. Not brushing long enough: You should brush for at least two minutes (30 seconds or more for all four quadrants of your mouth) every time you brush your teeth.

4. Brushing wrong: Never brush back and forth. Start at the gums and brush in a circular motion.

5. Forgetting the gumline: If you don’t brush the gumline, bacteria remains where the tooth meets the gums. Missing that area will increase your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

6. Brushing immediately following a meal: Dr. Nguyen suggests waiting at least twenty minutes after a meal to brush your teeth. If you brush before then, the acid is still sitting in your mouth. Therefore, when you brush, you’re using an abrasive that can erode your teeth.

What flossing does for your health

Flossing is an integral part of your oral hygiene routine as it reduces your risk of developing periodontal disease. This occurs when bacteria below the gumline is left inside the mouth. It is associated with many medical conditions including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Type II Diabetes, and strokes. Regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings at Parker West Dental Associates help to best remove plaque.

Learn how to brush efficiently to improve your oral health

At Parker West Dental Associates in Plano, TX, Dr. Tim Nguyen teaches his patients oral hygiene tips to maintain their oral health at home. Brushing and flossing help remove harmful bacteria, food particles, and plaque, which can lead to gingivitis. To schedule an appointment at our dental office for a comprehensive dental exam and dental cleaning, call us today. Our goal is to help our patients to achieve healthy gums and teeth with preventative dentistry.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.