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Brushing your teeth: Are you using the proper technique?

As you already know, brushing your teeth regularly (preferably after each meal) helps prevent cavities, reduces plaque, and prevents gum disease. But over time, you can develop bad brushing habits or be unaware of the latest dental recommendations.

Here’s a handy little overview to keep in mind.

Hold the brush properly: You should hold your brush at a 45° angle and brush in a circular motion, up and down, as if you were massaging your teeth. Take it easy! Too much pressure can cause the gums to shrink over time.

Clean everywhere: Clean all sides of your teeth, front, back, top, and where the tooth meets the gum line. If you have dental plaque that causes bad breath (this often occurs with smokers, for example), use a tongue scraper. Scrape gently! The tongue is made up of delicate skin!

Brush for 2 minutes: Take your time. If necessary, use an hourglass like the one used by toddlers to get a sense of time. Do you prefer a high-tech option? Ask Alexa or Siri to time you!

Change your routine: Over the years, we often develop a brushing “routine” that causes us to miss the same places every time. Change your routine from time to time. Start on the other side of your mouth and switch up your movements.

Don’t rinse: When you’re finished brushing, don’t rinse. This allows the fluoride in the toothpaste to protect your teeth.

And, of course, don’t forget to floss at least once a day, preferably before bed.

 

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