Brushing our teeth is something we all do twice every single day. Or least should be doing.

But, according to experts, many of us have actually been doing it completely wrong. With more people than ever skipping their routine dental checkups over the past few years due to COVID, it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene to ward off any painful emergencies. In other words, if there was ever a good time to reassess our teeth-brushing technique, it’s now.

Luckily, we’ve called on two brilliant dentists to share the crucial steps to follow when maintaining good oral hygiene: Mayur N. Pandya, dentist and chief clinical officer of Together Dental, and Milad Shadrooh, Oral-B expert and dentist also known as TikTok’s The Singing Dentist. You’re welcome.

Brush your teeth before breakfast.

It’s the age-old debate: Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? The former is the correct way, according to Shadrooh. “When you sleep, loads of bacteria still builds up in your mouth and you get the plaque formation,” he says. “So, when you wake up, it’s good to remove all of that buildup before having your breakfast and starting your day.” 

Use a good fluoride toothpaste.

All you need is a pea-size amount of good fluoride toothpaste, the experts say. Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,450 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. At nighttime, spit out excess toothpaste but try not to rinse after brushing, in order to leave a reservoir of fluoride which will help to remineralize tooth enamel and prevent cavities. During the day, after meals, use an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash to keep your enamel strong.

Follow the 45-degree rule.

Place the head of your toothbrush against your lower teeth, and then tilt the bristles to a 45-degree angle against the gumline. Try to keep the angle throughout; it gives better leverage to remove plaque and germs.

Use small circular movements.

Move the brush in small circular movements several times over the surfaces of every tooth. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth first, then go in and do the occlusal (inside) surface in nice circular motions all the way around. Move up to the upper set of teeth and repeat the small circular movements on the outside teeth first, keeping the bristles angled against the gumline. To clean inside the surfaces of the front teeth, tip the toothbrush vertically and make several small strokes up and down with the front part of the brush.

Always brush your tongue.

The tongue carries both good and bad bacteria, but its close proximity to the back of your throat means that it can potentially harbor viruses present in that area. Brushing your tongue helps to freshen breath and clean your mouth of any bacteria. Stick your tongue out and make several long strokes across your tongue to give it a good clean.

Clean in the right order.

While many of us would automatically brush first, floss second, and rinse last, the dentists we spoke with advise that we need to completely reorder our steps. In fact, they said, do the exact reverse of the above. Start with a rinse with mouthwash to kick-start salivary glands, which helps to protect the gums from harmful bacteria. You should never rinse after brushing, as it can wash away some of the helpful ingredients in toothpaste. Next, floss to remove debris or food that has become wedged between teeth. Finally, brush with toothpaste for two minutes.

Clean in between your teeth.

Whether you use dental floss, floss picks, interdental brushes, or an oral irrigator, you’ve got to do something to get in between your teeth. “I would recommend doing this before brushing your teeth because the more you can clean away the debris from in between the teeth, then the better the chance of your toothpaste getting in between the teeth and the fluoride entering the hard to reach places,” says Milad.

This post was originally published in Glamour UK.

#Brush #Teeth #Breakfast

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