Not everyone if familiar with brushing dos and don’ts.
Just like washing your hands before you eat, brushing teeth should be an important daily habit you embrace to ensure your oral health. Brushing is essentially washing your teeth and gums after you eat.
In this post, our Country Dental dentists will discuss brushing dos and don’ts including brushing teeth the right way plus what not to do when brushing your teeth. These teeth brushing tips will help promote good oral hygiene habits for kids and for adults, and keep your teeth strong and healthy for life.
Brushing Teeth Do’s – the Right Way
Do Brush with a Soft Toothbrush
Soft bristle toothbrushes are less abrasive and recommended most. Even though toothbrushes can range from extra soft to firm bristles, soft bristle toothbrushes will still clean your teeth properly. They are also more forgiving if you have sensitive teeth or if you have bad teeth cleaning habits and don’t brush your teeth properly.
Do Brush Your Teeth for At Least 2 Minutes
Most dentists recommend the 2/2 principle, brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes at a time.
Do Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
Brushing twice a day (in the morning and before bedtime) is the minimum recommended but preferably you should brush your teeth after every meal. (Way to go Canada – The Canadian Health Measures Survey reports that at least 73% of Canadian brush twice a day!)
Do Use Fluoride Toothpaste
The whole purpose of brushing teeth is to promote oral health. Fluoride Treatements have been proven to help prevent tooth decay so brushing daily with a fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen your teeth. See our page on Good Oral Hygiene and Dental Care.
Do Clean Your Tongue & Gums
It is also important to properly clean your tongue and gums. As the foods you eat break down, they create acids in the mouth, which can be cleaned away properly by brushing your tongue and gums as well as your teeth.
Do Allow Your Toothbrush to Air Dry
To store your toothbrush properly, we recommend that you keep your toothbrush upright to let it air dry. Wet toothbrushes will only promote bacteria growth. Your toothbrush won’t dry as fast or be as hygienic if you lay it flat, store it in a sleeve, or place it upside down in a container.
Do Change Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
Seasonal toothbrushes may sound funny, but if you change your toothbrush with every new season it just might help you remember that you need a new toothbrush at least every 3 months.
Brushing Teeth Don’ts – What Not to Do
Don’t Rush to Brush
On average, most Canadians brush their teeth for under 45 seconds. That’s not enough. Brushing your teeth for any length of time is better than not brushing at all. However, in order to clean your teeth properly and to give your fluoride toothpaste time to be effective, you should allow at least 2 minutes for brushing.
Don’t Use Hard Bristle Toothbrushes
The bristles on soft bristle toothbrushes bend easier, are less abrasive (won’t scratch your tooth enamel) and are gentler on your gums and teeth. If you have sensitive teeth or weakened enamel, we would even recommend using ultra-soft toothbrushes.
Don’t Brush Your Teeth Too Hard
Brushing your teeth too hard may irritate your gums and potentially damage your teeth, especially if you use a hard-bristled toothbrush that can scratch the tooth enamel. Don’t scrub with a hard toothbrush. Instead, gently massage your teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush.
Don’t Share Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes are cleaning tools used to clean away harmful bacteria and acids in your mouth. Don’t put yourself at risk by using your partner’s toothbrush…and don’t put them at risk by sharing your toothbrush.
Still Have Questions About Brushing Teeth?
We love preventative dental care. Understanding brushing teeth dos and don’ts will help keep your teeth, and your children’s teeth healthy. Plus, brushing regularly and booking an annual dental exam and teeth cleaning are your best defense against cavities and unnecessary oral health problems.
If you still have questions about brushing teeth dos and don’ts or any other dental issue, please book a dental appointment or call the Country Dental clinic nearest you:
Brushing Teeth FAQs
How often should I brush my teeth?
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after meals, using fluoride toothpaste.
How long should I brush my teeth for?
It would be best if you brushed your teeth for a minimum of two minutes each time, using circular motions and brushing all surfaces of your teeth and gums.
What type of toothbrush should I use?
Dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush, as these are gentle on your teeth and gums. Electric toothbrushes are also effective, but they are not necessary for everyone.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush should be replaced within the first three months or as soon as you notice the bristles becoming worn and frayed.
Can I use mouthwash instead of brushing my teeth?
No, mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing your teeth. Mouthwash can help freshen your breath and kill bacteria, but it cannot remove plaque and food particles from your teeth.
Should I brush my tongue?
Yes, you should gently brush your tongue as part of your oral hygiene routine, as bacteria can build up on your tongue and contribute to bad breath.
Is it okay to brush my teeth immediately after eating?
It is best to wait until 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth, as the acid in your food can soften your tooth enamel and brushing immediately after eating can damage it.
Can I use baking soda to brush my teeth?
Yes, baking soda can be an effective ingredient in toothpaste or used on its own to help whiten your teeth, but it should not be used as a substitute for fluoride toothpaste.
How can I make sure I am brushing my teeth correctly?
You can ask your dentist or hygienist to show you the proper technique for brushing your teeth, or you can watch instructional videos online. Additionally, using disclosing tablets can help you see areas where you may be missing when brushing.