Many people are surprised to learn that, for years, they have actually been brushing their teeth the wrong way. Brushing your teeth incorrectly may cause oral health problems including gum tissue recession and tooth decay. Using the proper toothbrush method will help you better protect your teeth and gum tissue, and ultimately save you a great deal of money.
The common way that people brush their teeth is the back and forth motion, similar to sawing back and forth. Many people will brush until they feel like their teeth are clean and slippery. Unfortunately, this is not the correct way to brush your teeth. This motion causes you to scrub away tooth enamel, which will make your teeth sensitive to hot and cold liquids and food much sooner than they normally would be. This sawing motion is also very abrasive to your gums.
Brushing too hard can increase your chances of developing tooth decay and receding gums. This method also does not clean effectively. Since the bristles are moving back and forth, they are essentially bouncing from one tooth to the next, which causes you to miss the spaces in between the teeth to remove plaque and other tiny particles of food.
So what is the proper way to brush your teeth? Start by placing your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to where the teeth meet the gums. Then gently move your toothbrush back and forth and make sure the bristles cover each tooth and work their way around the sides of the tooth. This method allows you to find all of the food particles and plaque in the spaces between your teeth. Our Dentist San Diego dental team can help demonstrate this method for you at your next appointment.
The importance of brushing teeth properly is often overlooked, but it is a critical part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Using the right method to brush your teeth will prevent plaque build-up that is harmful and can lead to many oral health problems. Brushing properly will help to prevent:
- Gingivitis: an inflammatory gum disease that develops from improper plaque removal along the gumline (and in between teeth)
- Tooth decay: damage that occurs when bacteria (located in dental plaque) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth
It’s not easy to relearn brushing after you’ve been using one method. Switching over will take some getting used to, but the results will speak for themselves. If you have any questions regarding the correct method of brushing your teeth or would like a demonstration, please contact our Dentist in San Diego office.
Paul Taylor, DMD- Advanced Dentistry
Phone: (858) 496-7521
4320 Genesee Ave., Suite 101
San Diego, CA 92117