While you can brush your teeth with your eyes closed, it comes as no surprise that brushing your teeth isn’t rocket science. But according to recent research, you might want to start putting a bit more effort into this ancient dental hygiene activity because you’ve probably been doing it completely wrong!
If your mom always told you to wet your toothbrush before you begin brushing your teeth, she might have been wrong because scientists are now debating whether you should wet your toothbrush or not. According to the British Dental Association, you should avoid wetting your toothbrush because “A dry brush increases friction with the bristles and won’t dilute the fluoride in the toothpaste.”
If we’ve been doing this wrong, who knows what other mistakes we’ve made while brushing our teeth? In honor of National Dental Hygiene Awareness Month, we’re going to reteach you how to brush your pearly whites.
How to Brush Your Pearly Whites
Most people aren’t really aware, but the way we brush our teeth plays a massive impact on our oral health. While we know that we should be brushing our teeth twice a day, what we don’t focus on is our brushing techniques, how we rinse our mouth and the type of toothbrush we own.
Let’s set the record straight once and for all as we share with you the do’s and don’ts of cleaning your pearly whites.
Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle: Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, which means downward for your bottom teeth and upward for your top teeth. Using gentle circular motions, the bristles will clean under your gums where plaque tends to hide.
Brush your teeth gently: Brushing your teeth harder doesn’t mean that doing so will clean your teeth better, in fact, it can actually damage your gums and your overall oral health. As long as you’re able to reach all the areas in your mouth, you should be able to effectively clean your teeth.
Don’t rinse your mouth out after you brush your teeth: Refrain from rinsing your mouth out immediately after you brush your teeth because doing so will wash away the concentrated fluoride that continues to protect your teeth long after you stopped brushing.
Brush your teeth before eating: In the morning when you are getting ready to eat your breakfast, make sure you brush your teeth first. Most of the drinks and foods you eat can weaken your tooth enamel and brushing your teeth afterward can cause further damage. So don’t forget to brush your teeth before to help protect your teeth as you eat. Even if the toothpaste might make your food taste funny.
Brush your teeth for two minutes: We should be brushing our teeth for at least two minutes, but most people brush their teeth for about 45 seconds. Try watching TV or listening to your favorite song while brushing your teeth, that way you will spend the recommended two minutes brushing your teeth.