A toothbrush is an important tool in the fight against tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Your toothbrush helps remove food and plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is always forming on your teeth. If plaque is not removed with regular brushing and cleaning between the teeth, it can harden into calculus, also called tartar. Tartar buildup can lead to gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Tartar can only be removed when teeth are cleaned at the dental office.
Brush your teeth twice a day. Most dental professionals recommend brushing for at least two minutes each time. Your dentist or hygienist can show you how. It’s also important to clean your teeth with floss or another between-the-teeth cleaner daily. This helps remove food and plaque from between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. If you notice bleeding or gum recession, schedule a dental appointment.
When shopping for a toothbrush, floss, and fluoride toothpaste, look for those that show the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. This says that the product meets the ADA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.
Choose a toothbrush in a size and shape that fits your mouth comfortably. Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Worn toothbrushes won’t clean teeth properly.
If you have hand, arm, or shoulder problems that limit movement, a powered toothbrush may be easier for you to use. Your dental office may also recommend certain products for your oral health needs.
The following is just one of several effective ways to clean your teeth.
1. Place your toothbrush against your
gumline (where your teeth and gums
meet) at a 45-degree angle. Move the
brush back and forth gently in short
2. Brush the outer tooth surfaces.
3. Brush the inner tooth surfaces.
4. Brush the chewing surfaces.
5. Use the top part of the brush to clean the
inside surface of the top and bottom front
teeth. Use a gentle up-and-down motion.
6. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and
freshen your breath.
Eating a healthy diet, limiting snacks, and visiting your dentist regularly will help you keep your smile healthy for years to come.
Patient education content ©2014 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. “ADA” and the “ADA” Logo are registered trademarks of the American Dental Association.
Infection and swelling mean that you have a major problem in your mouth that needs emergency dentistry, so you should seek a dentist right away. Dental emergencies can change the course of your life when it comes to your face and smile. If you prioritize seeing a dentist right away, it can save you tons…
You should consider root canal treatment if you have a tooth infection or a severely damaged, decaying tooth. It is a popular procedure that can save your tooth and relieve your dental pain. After the procedure, you should take proper care of your treated tooth.After root canal treatment, the dentist will send a patient home…
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder many people suffer from. Essentially, it is when breathing stops while sleeping. While this is considered a serious medical condition, the consequences of having sleep apnea usually do not pose a health risk. However, sometimes it can be dangerous, so you should always speak to your doctor upon noticing…
Thinking that Invisalign® clear aligners are a good choice for you? While there are different types of teeth straightening options available for you to choose from nowadays, if you are taking this option, it means that you want to experience the many benefits that come with choosing this straightening option. Ready to learn more about…
Considering dental implants to replace missing teeth?No matter how it happens, having missing teeth can make anyone feel self-conscious. Instead of smiling naturally, people with missing teeth tend to hide their smiles and lose their confidence. Even worse, the space left by missing teeth is more likely to become infected with bacteria as opposed to other…