Over 70% of Canadians are said to be brushing twice a day. If that’s the case, how is it possible for almost 60% of Canadians to have a cavity at least once in their life? Maybe the answer does not lie in how many times you brush your teeth, but rather with how you brush your teeth.
When it comes to keeping your smile clean and bright, a lot of Canadians have fallen into bad habits or have neglected the techniques to keep their teeth clean. White teeth are a result of a variety of factors that include the type of brush you use, the angle at which you are brushing, even how long you brush.
But what should you be concerned about when brushing? Each person is different, so it is recommended by the Canadian Dental Association to book dental exams every six months to find out what you should be doing to keep your teeth clean. However, this guide can help you step on the right path for cleaner and brighter teeth.
Which Brush is Right For You?
The toothbrush industry is a bit of a jungle to navigate through. There are two toothbrush types, and almost everyone has a grip on identifying: manual and electric toothbrushes. But between these two, there are different bristles, heads, handles, materials, and even shapes that are designed to match the specific needs of a patient.
When it comes to the type of bristle (the actual brush part of your toothbrush), there are a couple options you can consider, including hard, medium, soft, and ultra-soft bristles. Doctors recommend only using either soft or an ultra-soft bristle for your teeth. If your gums are receding, it is recommended to only use an ultra-soft bristle.
How you decide to brush your teeth must first begin on your choice of toothbrush.
Manual toothbrushes can come in a variety of different styles and materials, but the basic principle remains universal for all of them: you are physically brushing your teeth yourself. Because of how much control you have, you have to be aware of how hard, how fast, and even the angle at which you’re brushing.
This leaves a lot of room for user error, and some people might not see the same benefits of brushing their teeth with a manual brush as they would with an electric. Nowadays, brushes can come with a variety of customizable options to improve your results. Still, it is recommended to speak to a professional before making a decision that could harm your oral health.
Electric brushes are generally found to be more effective at cleaning your teeth, and research has shown that electric toothbrushes can reduce plaque build-up by 21% and gingivitis by 11%. This gives you more control over the pressure at which you brush your teeth as well as the angle.
Electric brushes also come with a plethora of options of different head types and styles to match your particular oral health needs. Speak to your dentist to find out which is best for you and your teeth.
Watch Your Technique
Your brushing technique can influence how effective your oral care routine is at keeping your teeth clean. If you are reading this, you probably have a pretty good idea of the mechanics of brushing your teeth. However, there are ways to improve your technique to maximize your desired results.
How Long & How Often
The first thing to keep in mind when brushing is how long you do it and how often. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that you should be brushing your teeth for a full two minutes at least twice a day. In some cases, it might be beneficial to brush your teeth after every meal as bacteria can start attacking your teeth only minutes after you eat.
Not Too Hard & Not Too Light
Pressure can play a huge role in your oral care routine. If you brush too lightly, you will not be brushing off the necessary bacteria and food particles to keep your teeth clean. If you brush too hard, you could damage your gums and the enamel on your teeth.
Don’t Forget Your Gums & Tongue
Speaking of gums, they need brushing, as well. Gums are an essential part of oral health, as 21% of Canadian adults have or have experienced a moderate or severe form of gum problem.
When you are brushing, apply only light pressure and place the brush at a 45-degree angle so that the bristles can slide under your gums.
Bad breath is often a result of not brushing your tongue enough, so every time you brush your teeth, make sure you thoroughly but gently brush your tongue. In some cases, it can be uncomfortable and cause gagging, but it is the best way to prevent bad breath.
By maintaining an oral health care routine that includes your gums and tongue, you can help deter symptoms of oral disease. If you do not see any results, it is time to talk to your dentist to find out the best oral care option is best for you.
Between The Teeth
Cleaning between the teeth is one of the least maintained oral hygiene practices patients follow, as only 28% of Canadians can say that they floss their teeth at least five times a week. Flossing can reach the crevices brushes can not reach and is instrumental in preventing plaque from affecting your gums, causing gum disease. If plaque is not removed within 24 to 36 hours, it may harden to tartar, which only a professional can clean.
If you either don’t have access to or if your gums are too sensitive for floss, there are other options available to make sure the space between your teeth is always clean. Toothpicks and water picks are amazing alternatives to help clear the plaque and food debris that gets stuck between your teeth.
Not only cleaning the space between your teeth can help prevent the possible build-up of plaque and tartar, it can also help you maintain cleaner breath.
Your Oral Health Starts With You
The first step to any great oral health routine is by making sure it is consistent and thorough. By brushing and flossing, you can minimize your chances of developing oral diseases. For even better protection, request an appointment from your dentist.