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Brushing Dos and Don’ts

800px-Toothbrush_x3_20050716_002Though it’s something we all do every day, we can often forget about just how we brush our teeth. We all have habits we formed over our lives, and tooth brushing is no different.  All of us at West Vancouver Dental thought it best to take a moment and remind everyone of the dos and don’ts of brushing, so that you can be sure you are getting the most out of your time and effort. Here’s our helpful list of common things to remember the next time your pick up your toothbrush:

Do Time It Out

Brushing your teeth should take two to three minutes each time you do it. It is important to spend the time to cover your entire mouth when brushing, with quality time and attention on those hard-to-reach places your dentist has most likely has pointed out to you. Though some newer electric models of toothbrush come equipped with timers, many people find a few minutes of watching TV, singing a familiar three-minute song, or carefully watching the clock will help them achieve complete brushing coverage.

Don’t Wait Too Long

Waiting too long in-between brushing can cause plaque to build up in your mouth and on tooth surfaces. Plaque can increase the chance of inflammation of your gums, which can have other, more dire effects throughout the whole body, if left untreated.  Brushing twice a day is always recommended, but being sure not skip too many days brushing in a row is also very important.

Don’t Brush Right After Eating

Though it may seem counterintuitive, it’s best to actually wait a bit after to you eat before you brush your teeth. This is because some foods we eat contain sugars and acids that can weaken the enamel of our teeth.  Think about how your teeth feel after you have eaten something incredibly acidic, and you will begin to understand what we mean. By brushing too soon after eating such foods, you could actually be brushing away some of your enamel before it has chance to become hard again.  Pausing for a good half hour before you brush is recommended.

Do Make Sure You Rinse Your Brush

Every time you use your toothbrush it can get filled with bacteria from your mouth. Making sure that you effectively rinse the head of your brush under a steady stream of water can help limit any harmful bacteria from starting to grow on your brush. Also, it’s best make sure your brush has a chance to completely dry out in between uses to avoid it becoming a place for bacteria to start a foothold.

Do Mix it Up

Many people brush their teeth starting in the same spot, which may cause uneven wear on the teeth over time. Some of your teeth can get brushed way more frequently then others,  actually wearing down the enamel of those teeth over time. Be sure to try starting and ending at different spots in your mouth to avoid any of this kind of dental erosion.

Don’t Brush Too Vigorously

Over-brushing can also be a problem, and it can  lead to sensitive teeth and even cause gums to recede. Ask Dr. Tinkle on your next visit to show you how much pressure to exert when you brush,  so you don’t end up being too hard on the delicate parts of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Dr. Tinkle could recommend softer bristles for your toothbrush or just help you try to improve your method to help alleviate any problems caused by any over-brushing activities.

If you have questions about how to brush your teeth correctly ask Dr. Tinkle or any our staff today or the next time you visit us.  

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