Dentists say that the most important part of dental care is done at home. Regular dental checkups and flossing with proper brushing can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. In other words, brushing teeth plays an important role in maintaining oral hygiene.
Brushing teeth properly helps prevent cavities, and periodontal, or gum disease, which causes at least one-third of adult tooth loss. Brushing is an effective way to remove plaque, a sticky, bacteria-laden biofilm that stubbornly clings to your teeth.
Bacteria in plaque produce acids that can erode tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. If teeth are not brushed correctly and frequently, it could lead to the calcification of saliva minerals, forming tartar. Plaque can also cause gum disease and bad breath. In fact, it is believed that more than 90% of dental diseases are due to plaque buildup alone.
Besides removing plaque, the fluoride in toothpaste strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay. Also, brushing makes your mouth feel cleaner and your breath smells fresher.
Also, poor dental health has been associated with heart disease and shortened life expectancy.
Here are some tips on how to brush properly:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time.
In choosing when to brush your teeth, you might also consider your diet. If you’ve eaten an acidic food or drink, avoid brushing your teeth right away. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove enamel.
- Nemours Children’s Health, Taking Care of Your Teeth, https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/teeth.html (Date of access: 09.02.2022)
- Mayo Clinic, When and how often should you brush your teeth? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/brushing-your-teeth/faq-20058193 (Date of access: 09.02.2022)