What Is the Right Way to Brush Your Teeth?

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To maintain your oral health, an efficient at-home oral hygiene routine is essential. Ultimately, your oral health can impact your overall health. At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County, we teach our patients in State College, PA, oral hygiene tips, including how often you should brush your teeth, how long to brush teeth, and if you can over brush your teeth. Learning the best time to brush teeth also helps you protect your teeth. Along with regular dental exams and dental cleanings, you can ensure that your teeth and gums stay looking and feeling their best.

Should you floss or brush first?

It doesn’t really matter which one you do first. What matters most is that you do both daily. We suggest flossing first as it helps loosen plaque between the teeth. It also removes food particles and debris from between the teeth that brushing can’t do on its own. When you remove plaque that causes tooth decay, your oral health is almost instantly improved. It’s important that you focus more on the quality of cleaning your teeth and gums than how long you do both necessary oral hygiene tasks. Brushing on its own cannot remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, which makes flossing important. The order in which you brush and floss is your choice. We recommend that you focus more on getting your teeth and gums as clean as possible.

How to brush your teeth

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every few months or when the bristles fray. To start brushing, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle while focusing on your gums. Move your toothbrush back and forth gently to brush the inner, outer, and chewing sides. Brush each of the four quadrants of your mouth for at least 30 seconds. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue as this is where harmful bacteria stay.

How not to brush your teeth

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

  1. Using the wrong toothbrush: Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles that bend freely. A small-headed brush is better as it makes it easier to get to hard-to-reach areas where tooth decay can occur when neglected.

  2. Not brushing long enough: Brush for at least two minutes (30 seconds or more for each quadrant of your mouth) at least twice a day.

  3. Brushing too hard: Don’t brush your teeth with a lot of force, as it can lead to swollen and bleeding gums. Plaque is soft, so you don’t need to brush hard to remove it effectively.

  4. Brushing wrong: Do not brush back and forth. Start at the gumline, and brush in a circular motion.

  5. Not brushing the gumline: If you don’t brush the gumline, bacteria will stay there and possibly lead to tooth decay or periodontal disease.

  6. Brushing right after a meal: We suggest waiting to brush until at least 20 minutes after you eat. This is because the acid is still sitting in your mouth. When you brush, you’re using that abrasive on your teeth, which can lead to erosion.

Find out how learning how to brush correctly can improve your oral health

At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County, our team teaches our patients oral hygiene tips that help them maintain their oral health at home. Brushing and flossing are important since they remove harmful bacteria, food particles, and plaque, all of which can lead to gingivitis. Schedule an appointment online or call to make an appointment for a comprehensive dental exam and dental cleaning at our State College, PA office today.

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