You may assume that most people brush their teeth properly, but that’s not the case. Both the American and British Dental Association recommend brushing for two minutes, twice a day and flossing daily. But what are people really doing? Studies show that less than 50 percent of Londoners brush their teeth twice a day, most people for only 30 to 40 seconds, less than 50 percent of Americans floss daily, and 10 percent never floss at all. If they are not even brushing, when they do brush are they brushing properly? In today’s blog, your Polk City, IA dentist Dr. Hussong is going to discuss the proper way to brush your teeth.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
A recent British study found that over half of the British population does not know how to prevent periodontal disease (gum disease). The most common cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene, which makes taking care of your teeth one of the easiest ways to help combat it. Because dental health has been linked to the overall health of your body, brushing isn’t just good for your teeth. It is good for your health. Not brushing allows harmful bacteria to continue to feed on the sugars and starches left in your mouth from the things you eat and drink. A reaction takes place when bacteria come into contact with the starches, sugars, and other debris left behind, producing a sticky biofilm called plaque. Not brushing allows plaque to turn into tartar which clings to your teeth and gumline like cement. At this point, brushing no longer helps remove the tartar. It has to be scraped off during a professional dental cleaning.
Proper Brushing Techniques
Brushing your teeth is important. So is brushing them properly. Here’s how:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Brushing for 30 seconds is not enough. Brushing once is not enough. Brushing over four times a day is too much. Over-brushing can damage tooth enamel and gingival tissue.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. Do not scrub your teeth.
- Brush using short, circular strokes moving up and down, not across.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle while brushing and brush along your gumline.
- Don’t skip teeth or sections of your mouth. Include all surfaces: front, back, and chewing surfaces.
About Dr. Hussong
At Cornerstone Dental: Ryan Hussong, DDS is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. Whether your smile is in the grips of a dental disease, or you simply want to learn more about protecting your family’s smiles, Dr. Hussong has the experience to help you protect, preserve, and restore your oral health. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental office today at (515) 984-6001.