In honor of October being National Dental Hygiene Month, let’s take a look at the proper way to keep our teeth as healthy as possible. After all, there is lots of Halloween candy to eat! Most dentists will tell patients that the two most important things they can do at home are to brush and to floss regularly, but there are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to brush your teeth, and it’s important to understand the difference.
You should brush at least two times a day, but three is even better, and it should take about 2 minutes each time. Brush lightly with a soft-bristled toothbrush, being careful not to damage the gums. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and move the brush in an up and down motion, using short strokes. Avoid long, wide, side to side sweeping strokes that can cause scrapes along your gums.
Avoid acidic drinks that can weaken enamel – coffee, soda, orange juice, and energy drinks all will contribute to weakened enamel. Because of this, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after consuming them (in fact, you can avoid brushing immediately after a meal). If you wait a half hour after eating or drinking before brushing, your saliva will have an opportunity to bring your mouth back to its normal form, allowing your enamel to re-harden and make it less likely to be damaged during brushing.
Finally, take care of your toothbrush. Rinse it after each use, keep it in a clean area, and change it regularly, every 3 to 4 months. Doing so will keep the brush clean, so that you’re less likely to contaminate your mouth while trying to clean it.
To learn more about dental hygiene, please contact Dr Alhadef at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.
Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.