Everyone knows that brushing your teeth is oral health 101. But, because we’ve all been doing it since we were children, it’s easy to go about your business without ever considering whether you’re doing it correctly.
And while you probably have the basics down pat, there are a few things that can be overlooked when brushing teeth. And they’re important—after all, brushing teeth correctly will help prevent cavities and keep your smile looking bright and fresh. And we all want that!
So, ready to up your tooth brushing game? Here are nine tips to better brushing:
1. Use the right toothbrush
If you’re old-fashioned or just don’t want to invest in an electric toothbrush, soft bristles are the way to go. Bristles that are too firm can be highly abrasive and cause damage to teeth and gums. Softer bristles will get the job done, and are better at gently cleaning your gums as well.
That said, we love a good electric toothbrush, specifically Sonicare electric toothbrushes. The bristles of this type of toothbrush rotate so that all you need to do is gently move the rotating head across your teeth. It’s great for removing food particles, without being too abrasive.
2. Keep your toothbrush clean
Your toothbrush helps remove food particles and bacteria from your mouth, so it should go without saying that it needs to be cleaned regularly. And while it may be somewhat obvious, we often forget and just store it back where it goes after a fast rinse and tap or two on the sink counter.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends rinsing your toothbrush thoroughly before and after each use. Once you’re finished rinsing, store it upright and allow it to air dry. Storing a wet toothbrush in a closed container can promote bacteria growth, so don’t do that. Additionally, soaking your toothbrush in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide has been found to also slow bacteria growth.
3. Replace your toothbrush regularly
How often do you replace your toothbrush? It’s a simple task that’s easy to push off or forget about, but keeping a fresh toothbrush is important for your oral health. The ADA suggests replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months because, over time, the bristles will wear down and be less effective at reaching the nooks and crannies of your teeth. So, getting a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months will ensure that you’re getting the most from your brushing!
4. Don’t play favorites
Think about how you brush your teeth. If you’re like most people, you probably start at the same spot and then follow a pretty similar path throughout your mouth each time you brush.
While that’s not necessarily a bad method, it’s important to make sure you’re not playing favorites and skipping over areas of your mouth. Make sure to get the backs and sides of your teeth, as well as the top where you do the most chewing, and your molars in the back. These are some of the commonly less-brushed teeth. Also, make sure to gently run over your gum line and your tongue with each brushing.
5. Floss, floss, floss
While your toothbrush can reach a lot of the bacteria and food particles in your mouth, there are lots of small spaces between your teeth that can only be cleaned with floss. At least once a day, make sure you’re flossing either before or after your usual teeth brushing. Skipping this important step can leave a lot of bacteria hiding in your mouth!
6. Be gentle
A common mistake made when brushing teeth is to be too aggressive. Especially when using a manual toothbrush, make sure to be gentle when scrubbing your teeth. It’s best to take your time and gently brush tooth-by-tooth. Scrubbing too fast and too hard can lead to damaged gums and enamel.
7. Take your time
Another pro tip is to take your time when brushing your teeth. It’s easy to get into a rush and feel like brushing is something that you can speed through if you just brush faster and harder. Doing that though will cause you to miss areas of your mouth as well as brush too hard and potentially damage your gums or enamel.
Slow down and gently brush each tooth, noticing the cracks and crevices around each one. If it’s helpful, turn on a favorite song to help you time how long you’re brushing—most songs are around 2 to 3 minutes long which is the recommended time to brush your teeth!
8. Work your angles
Another tip from the ADA is to angle your toothbrush when brushing. They recommend roughly a 45-degree angle to the gums and then gently move your toothbrush back and forth over one tooth at a time. For the inside surfaces of the front teeth, they suggest tilting the brush vertically and brushing up and down.
The main point is to make sure you’re adjusting the angle of your toothbrush as you clean so that you can reach all areas of your mouth!
9. Use high-quality, natural toothpaste
Our final tip is to use quality, all-natural toothpaste each time you brush your teeth. Your toothbrush can break apart and remove some food particles bacteria simply by abrasion alone, but it can’t effectively kill bacteria and help remineralize teeth like toothpaste can—that’s why toothpaste is such an important part of brushing.
So, what is the best toothpaste? Our recommendation is to use Pearl Oral Health's natural toothpaste. This toothpaste was researched and developed by a team of dentists who wanted to create an oral care product that would not only clean teeth and leave them feeling fresh, but also remineralize the enamel. The ingredients are very high-quality and it is completely all-natural—it even contains six essential oils!
Pearl Natural Toothpaste just launched and is now available to buy—get yours here and start brushing to better health today!
Brushing teeth correctly is an important part of every person’s oral health. Make sure to follow these tips for a great smile:
- Use the right toothbrush
- Keep your toothbrush clean
- Replace your toothbrush regularly
- Brush all your teeth—no skipping!
- Floss at least once a day
- Be gentle when brushing
- Take your time, don’t rush
- Adjust your toothbrush angle as needed
- Use a high-quality toothpaste
Start doing these tips and your smile will thank you!