Daily dental care is essential for proper oral health. Brushing and regular flossing are the keys. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and evening, ideally after each meal.
The ABCs of brushing
- Put about 1 cm of toothpaste on the brush.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, with the bristles below the gum line at the bottom of your teeth.
- Brush for at least two minutes.
- Use a gentle rotating motion.
- Clean all the surfaces of every tooth.
- Brush your tongue.
- Rinse your toothbrush and leave it out to dry.
Although using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the bacteria in your mouth, mouthwash alone is not recommended because it is not as effective as the combined effect of brushing and flossing.
In addition, mouthwash containing alcohol can dry out the mucosa in your mouth and actually contribute to bad breath, among other problems.
Even if you have good oral hygiene, you still need to visit the dentist for a complete cleaning.Your dentist can:
- smooth and clean the surfaces of your teeth and fillings
- remove tartar and plaque, since they can lead to gum disease
- remove stains on your teeth
Professional cleaning is a necessary complement to brushing and flossing at home.
Don’t brush too hard: it can irritate your teeth and cause gum recession. Over time it can wear them down.
Choosing a toothbrush
- Use a toothbrush with a compact, rounded head, which will make it easier to reach all tooth surfaces.
- Choose a brush with soft or extra-soft bristles, to go easier on your tooth enamel and protect your gums.
- Make sure the handle fits comfortably in your hand.
- Replace your toothbrush or the tip of your electric brush when the bristles are bent or when a whitish layer accumulates at the bottom of the bristles (usually once every three months).
Manual or electric?
The length of time you brush and your brushing technique are more important than the type of brush you use. If you choose an electric brush, make sure it has a replaceable head with an oscillating, pulsating motion.