How often do I need to brush my teeth?

You know brushing your teeth is an important step to keep your teeth and gums health. But how often should you brush your teeth? This is a good question. Ideally you should brush your teeth in the morning, after each meal, and before bed. This helps to remove food debris which feed the bacteria in your mouth which cause cavities and gum disease. Rinsing your mouth out with clear water if you can’t brush will help reduce the food debris, but brushing is really the best line of defense.

How Your Brush is Important

Perhaps just as important as how often you brush is how you brush. Use a soft bristle brush and a pea size amount of toothpaste. Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and use short firm strokes. Next roll the brush up along the sides of your teeth and hold it vertically to brush the backs of your teeth. A good trick is to sign “Happy Birthday” in your head while you brush. This gives you enough time to thoroughly brush your teeth properly.

When teaching our child to brush his or her teeth start early and use a soft bristle brush to massage their gums before their teeth come in. Once their teeth start to come in use a very small amount of toothpaste and gently brush their teeth. Teach them the proper technique as they get older and let them practice brushing their teeth. You can sing the Happy Birthday song while they brush to make sure they brush long enough, and that makes brushing fun.

How Often is Enough?

Although you should aim for three or four times a day, sometimes it’s not possible to brush after each meal or snack. At the minimum you should brush in the morning and before bed. This gets rid of any food debris and cuts down on the amount of harmful bacteria in our mouth. Bacteria feed on food debris and form a sticky substance known as plaque. Plaque sticks to the teeth and the acid formed by the bacteria breaks down the enamel of your teeth causing cavities and tooth decay. By brushing at least twice a day you can help prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Brushing your teeth and teaching your child to brush their teeth properly is the first line of defense against cavities and tooth decay. Call or contact us today if you have questions about the frequency and proper technique for brushing.

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