Brushing Basics

Brushing Basics

Knowing how to brush your teeth is an important skill. Many children and even adults are not doing what they should be when brushing their teeth.

Should Parents Help Children Brush Their Teeth?

Yes! Children, especially young ones, are not able to brush their teeth properly and require assistance from their parents or care givers. The best way for children to learn is to have their parents, siblings, and other family members brush with them. Making brushing fun for kids will help make it part of a daily routine and help them continue to brush properly as they grow up.

How Long Should We Brush?

We should brush our teeth for at least 2 minutes 2 times per day. For children, listening to a song while they brush can make it more fun. Most songs on the radio are at least 2 minutes long. Adults can use this tip as well. Most adults think that they are brushing well but research has shown that most adults brush their teeth for less than a minute.

When Should I Brush?

Dentists usually tell patients to use a specific brushing technique to ensure they are cleaning their teeth properly. Here are a couple of tips that may help.

  • One technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the whole mouth.
  • Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush the teeth from the gum to the biting surface of the tooth in an elliptical motion.
  • Brush the inside and outside of the teeth, between the teeth and your tongue
  • Do not use a back and forth motion as it may cause the gums to recede or cause tooth sensitivity.

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

There is no need to ever use anything harder than a soft toothbrush to properly clean your teeth. There are many electric toothbrushes out there as well. Our office particularly likes the Sonicare electric toothbrush.

Modeling these brushing techniques for your children and family members will help them and you understand the importance of oral health.

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