How to Brush Properly12 Nov, 2015
How to Brush Properly
Confused about the kind of toothbrush you should buy? Don't be! Dentists say it doesn't matter what kind of toothbrush you use as long as you brush properly and feel comfortable with it. No specific toothbrush can claim superiority over others since all are basically the same, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
To prevent gum injury, use a toothbrush with soft bristles. This will clean teeth and massage gums. Stiff or hard bristles are more likely to hurt rather than help your gums.
Don't waste your time counting the number of bristles your toothbrush has. Dr. Wayne Wozniak, assistant director of the ADA's Council on Dental Materials, Instruments and Equipment, said it won't make a difference in cleaning teeth.
"The size and-shape of the brush should allow you to reach every tooth. There are brush sizes for children and adults as well as various configurations of bristles. Remember that only the tip of the bristles do the cleaning, so there's no need to exert a great deal of pressure," said Dr. David E. Larson, editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Family Health Book."
"Experiment with different brands until you find a toothbrush that feels good in your hand and in your mouth. And no matter how diligently you brush, don't forget to floss," added the editors of Health magazine.
For best results, brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day (in the morning and before going to bed). Or brush after every meal or snack.
To make the most of this important routine, here are some suggestions from the World Health Organization:
Brush outer surfaces of upper teeth beginning from the gums with an up and down motion from left to right. (Do the same for lower teeth.)
Brush inner surfaces of upper teeth beginning from the gums with an up and down motion. (Do the same for lower teeth.)
Brush chewing surfaces of upper teeth to and fro. (Do the same for lower teeth.)
Brush the tongue.
To clean areas your toothbrush can't reach, complement brushing with flossing. Use a least 18 inches of waxed or unwaxed dental floss and wind each end around the middle finger of each hand. Slide the floss between teeth to loosen food particles and bacteria. Do this at least once a day, preferably at night.
"For lower teeth, position floss between your index fingers, then insert it between your teeth and gently move it back and forth from the bottom to the top of your teeth. For upper teeth, a thumb and index finger technique works best," Larson said.
If your teeth bleed the first time you floss, don't be alarmed. The problem may be improper flossing which can be corrected in time.