Brushing teeth the right way is about brushing smartly and also must include optimal flossing and rinsing. Lets have a look at some aspects.
Perhaps first and foremost is the type of toothbrush: standard or electric. There is probably no intrinsic superiority of one over the other.
Electric toothbrushes are usually better for people with mobility problems, such as the elderly and the disabled. They do clean an area faster than that of a standard toothbrush, and if you have invested more money in one then you are more motivated to use it when you should.
However, you do need to recharge or replace the batteries frequently and, as alluded to previously, they are more costly. Also, you can expect to have bleeding gums when you first use an electric toothbrush until you become acclimated to using it.
Regardless of the type, the size of the head should be 1” in length and ½” in depth. The bristles ought to be soft. Many people feel that firmer bristles can remove plaque better, but that is not necessarily the case. Firm bristles can remove plaque but they can also very easily remove enamel and harm your gums. The abrasives in the toothpaste are more suited for the removal of plaque.
There is enormous variety in the design of the toothbrush. The bristles may be angled or straight, they may come in a variety of colors or be of one color. The handle may be angled or straight. Toothbrushes come in different thicknesses and lengths. The important thing is that it should be comfortable.
Of course, toothbrushes come in sealed containers at the stores so you cannot try it out there. Pick one that you think may be helpful to you. If it works then use that same type when it comes time to replacing your toothbrush. If it does not work then replace it with one that has the feature that is most important to you.
Toothbrushes ought to be replaced every 3-4 months, or when they show signs of wear (whichever comes first). Toothbrushes that have been worn down can damage gum tissue.
There are toothpastes that are marketed for those who have yellow teeth, or are plagued by cavities, or have sensitive teeth or gums, or want to prevent tartar buildup, or are looking for ones that have natural ingredients, or wear dentures. If you have one of these concerns then you cannot go wrong with one of those brands. Regardless of the concern or the type of toothpaste, the toothpaste ought to contain fluoride.
If you use a toothpaste that controls the buildup of tartar then those toothpaste may also contain pyrophosphates and zinc citrate. It may also contain triclosan which is an antibiotic and kills the bacteria in your mouth.
If you use a whitening toothpaste then, because of the hydrogen peroxide in it, you should not use it for more than four weeks at a time. Thus, this may not be in you best long-term interests.
Brushing the right way
After getting the appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste, squeeze a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto the brush. If you use more then you will spit out most of it and finish before the recommended 2-3 minutes of brushing. You also will have a greater chance of swallowing some of the toothpaste. Fluoride is good for the teeth but not for the stomach.
Hold the toothbrush so that the bristles are at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. Some toothbrushes already have angled bristles. If this applies to your toothbrush then hold it straight, as you would any other toothbrush. Brush the teeth in a vertical or circular motion. This is the best technique in reaching the areas that are most prone to plaque buildup.
A unique area is the molars. Place the toothbrush so that it is coming out straight from your mouth. Place the bristles on top of the bottom molars and then move the toothbrush in an in-and-out direction. Do this on one side and then the other, and then turn the toothbrush around so that you can clean your upper molars.
A difficult area is the inner surfaces of the teeth, which are commonly skipped or forgotten about. In this, you will need to hold the toothbrush straight up from, or straight down from, your mouth. In other words, brush the backs of your teeth in an up-and-down direction (as you ought to have down for the fronts of your front teeth) but holding the toothbrush at a difference of 90-degrees.
Brush the tongue as well, as this is a hotbed of bacteria. In brushing, you want to get rid of the bacteria not only on your teeth but also throughout your mouth.
The brushing should last for 2-3 minutes. A good rule-of-thumb is to divide your mouth into four area: bottom left, bottom right, top left, and top right. If you can do each area in 30 seconds (or slightly more) then this is ideal. To make this easier, listen to a song that you know is for that length of time. If you can complete each area in a fourth of the song’s length then you will be successful.
All of this should be done gently. Let the soft bristles of the toothbrush and the abrasives and fluoride in the toothbrush do the work for you. The toothbrush itself will then need to be rinsed and then placed, uncovered (to prevent the growth of bacteria) in a vertical position.
Flossing is crucial
Brushing your teeth properly removes the bacteria and plaque from your teeth and mouth. However, it cannot always dislodge the food particles between the teeth and under the gums. For that, you need to floss.
In general, you need to have about 18 inches of new dental floss, or a disposable, pre-threaded floss-pick. It can be difficult or extremely wordy to accurately describe the mechanics of holding and using the dental floss properly. If you do not already have some idea of how to proceed (or even if you do) then there are, fortunately, many good videos showing you how to floss, including this one
Just as there are different toothpastes for different purposes, so too are there different mouthwashes or mouth rinses. There are cosmetic mouthwashes to simply cover bad breath, antimicrobial mouthwashes which combat bacteria, fluoride mouthwashes helping to fight cavities, prescription mouthwashes for medicinal purposes (use only if prescribed by a dentist or physician) and herbal mouthwashes. The last often contain cloves, peppermints and/or rosemary for their antibacterial, antiseptic and cooling properties Just as with the different types of toothpastes, any or all of these can be good.
It is perhaps traditional to use the mouthwash at the end, but according to the American Dental Association it does not matter whether it is done before brushing or after brushing; both ways are equally effective. It is perhaps more important to incorporate this until it becomes a habit, and to follow the following steps.
Unless you are using a prescription mouthwash (in which case the exact amount and directions must be followed), put 20 ml (milliliters) or so of the mouthwash into a small cup (usually provided by the manufacturer of the mouthwash). The exact amount is not truly important; it is more important to use whatever feels comfortable in your mouth.
If you have a small mouth or large teeth then you may want to use slightly less; if you have a large amount or small teeth then you may want to use slightly more. Place this mouthwash in your mouth, and do not swallow (it contains chemicals that are not meant to be ingested and enter your bloodstream), and close your mouth.
Swish it around your mouth and, just as you did in brushing your teeth, swish it to the front of the teeth, the back of the teeth, the molars, the tongue, and throughout the mouth. It can be done for 30-60 seconds before spitting it out. Depending on the mouthwash, you may need to wait ½ hour or more before drinking or eating, in order to increase the effectiveness of the mouthwash. Be sure to read and follow the directions on the bottle to see whether or not you need to wait.
Regardless of whether you use a mouthwash before brushing or after brushing, you ought to finish your oral regimen with a salt-water rinse. Remember, all of this needs to be followed twice a day, preferably after meals.
Lets sign of with a nice song about brushing for kids 🙂