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Gentle Dental of Westland
825 S Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48186

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Brush Up on the Benefits of Brushing

Many of us have been brushing our teeth since we were old enough to feed ourselves, so we often take the habit for granted. However, as with any activity, a skill can gradually erode over time and become less effective than it once was. Although brushing your teeth takes only a few minutes daily, you must brush properly to maintain your good overall health and good oral health.

Why Is Brushing Your Teeth Properly So Important?

Your mouth is the entryway for your entire body, so it’s important to keep your entire mouth clean and healthy. Brushing your teeth not only keeps your teeth as attractive as possible, but it helps forestall many physical diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, periodontal disease, and pneumonia.

How Does Plaque Harm My Teeth and Gums?

After you eat or drink anything, bacteria remain on your teeth, tongue, and gums, and when it isn’t removed through brushing and flossing, it becomes plaque. Plaque settles in the crevices between your teeth and gums and starts the decay process. When plaque isn’t removed, then it becomes calculus, which is a very hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist. Plaque is the first stage of gingivitis, and by the time it develops into calculus, you have periodontal disease.

When periodontal disease isn’t treated, it can cause tooth loss, damage to your gums, and deteriorate the bone in your jaw. If you lose bone in your jaw, most likely, the disease will also cause you to lose facial structure, and the only remedy is painful and expensive reconstructive dental work. Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary disease. This can all be ameliorated by proper brushing and flossing habits throughout life.

How Should I Brush To Achieve Healthy Teeth and Gums?

To maintain the best oral health possible, you should brush at least twice each day and floss at least once daily, preferably before you go to bed. Simply brushing and flossing, however, isn’t sufficient. You need to ensure that you brush and floss properly and often.

Will Brushing Correctly Improve the Health of My Teeth and Gums?

Brushing and flossing properly can make a dramatic difference in your dental health and your physical health. However, you need to not only be aware of the proper techniques used for brushing, you also have to implement the knowledge into your daily routine. According to the American Dental Association, you should:

  • Brush each tooth: Although this statement may seem obvious, not all of your teeth may be easily accessible, so be sure to brush even the hard-to-reach teeth. If a tooth is sensitive, be sure to give it extra attention since you may have an infection or the beginning of one. Be sure to contact your Westland dentist if the discomfort continues.
  • Brush twice daily at a minimum: When you brush a minimum of twice each day, plaque and bacteria have a shorter contact time with your teeth, so frequent brushing will help deter cavities and decay.
  • Checkups and cleanings: No matter the quality of your oral hygiene routine, regular dental checkups and cleaning will help you maintain the best oral health. A checkup every six months is optimal, but at a minimum, you should see a dentist at least once each year. Your dentist will be able to advise you of potential problems that you might not notice, and the cost of your checkup and cleaning will be considerably less than the expensive procedures that you might otherwise need.
  • Equipment: Always thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use. Make sure you remove any food particles that may be in the bristles and store it upright to air dry. Storing your toothbrush in a closed container or covering your wet toothbrush can contribute to the formation of bacteria and mold.
  • Equipment replacement: You should replace your toothbrush every three months or immediately after you’ve been ill, or if the bristles are worn.
  • Flossing: Dental floss can reach areas that your toothbrush can’t, so be sure you floss after eating, whenever you brush, or before bedtime at a minimum.
  • Toothbrush choices: When selecting a toothbrush, opt for a soft-bristled brush that fits your mouth. You may be a large person with a small mouth, so the size of your toothbrush should fit the size of your jaw and mouth. Get a toothbrush that’s firm enough to remove food particles but soft enough that it doesn’t cause striations in your tooth enamel. Dental professionals now recommend battery-operated toothbrushes because they’re better at removing plaque and gingivitis. If you’re unsure which toothbrush to use, ask your dentist.
  • Technique: Mentally section your mouth into four areas and brush each area for at least 30 seconds, ensuring that you get the inside, bottom, and outside of each tooth. Hold your toothbrush at an angle and use gentle pressure with short, back-and-forth motions.
  • Tongue: Your tongue needs daily brushing, as do your teeth. Your tongue’s rough surface is a magnet for bacteria and germs that can also cause bad breath, so be sure to keep it clean.
  • Motion: You can use a circular motion if you prefer, rather than an up-and-down motion. Either way, be sure to maintain gentle pressure so that you don’t damage your tooth enamel.
  • Timing: It doesn’t matter whether you brush first or floss first. However, you should brush for at least two minutes in addition to t
    he flossing time in order to optimally clean your teeth.
    Toothpaste: Make sure you use a toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association seal of approval.
  • Rinsing: No matter how assiduously you brush and floss, there may be some residual bacteria. However, any residual bacteria can be removed through the use of an antibacterial mouthwash that’s approved by the American Dental Association. If it isn’t feasible to brush and floss after eating a meal or snack, then use an antibacterial mouthwash to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Can I Brush My Way to Healthy Teeth And Gums?

Although you may not have maintained good oral habits in the past, adopting them now will certainly improve your oral health. In that respect, when you start now with brushing and flossing properly, then you can brush your way to healthy teeth and gums.

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Gentle Dental of Westland

825 S Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48186

(734) 329-5284