Waking Up to Proper Brushing Techniques
You wake up, trudge to the kitchen, and make breakfast in a sleepy daze. Eyes still only half open, you shuffle to the bathroom where you grasp your toothbrush swipe it with toothpaste. You jam the brush into your mouth and mindlessly scrub: left side, right side, front, back, tongue, then spit. Next, you’re in the shower and it’s on with your daily routine. But something is missing: a whole additional minute of brushing, including the upper chewing surface of your back molars and that swish with mouthwash.
It’s a lot, especially early in the morning, but the following six dental care tips can make a big difference in your dental health throughout your life.
- Minimize acids in your diet. You may not experience heartburn when you eat acidic foods, but you could be harming your teeth. Acids de-mineralize the teeth, weakening the surface of the tooth and making it susceptible to adverse conditions, like cavities. Sodas are highly acidic. Drinking a soda is almost the same as swallowing vinegar, when speaking about the health of your teeth.
- Avoid cavities. Obviously, not brushing at all will lead to cavities, but so will consuming sticky, sugary foods and beverages. These foods can adhere to the surface of the teeth and join with the bacteria in the mouth to form acids that will erode the teeth and lead to inflammation, decay, and cavities.
- Brush twice a day. You should be brushing twice a day for at least two minutes—once in the morning and once before bed, after you are done eating and drinking for the day. Be sure to divide your mouth into quadrants and brush thoroughly, spending about 30 seconds on each section. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to help fight bad breath.
- Don’t brush too soon after eating. A 2004 study in the journal, General Dentistry, found that scrubbing too quickly after a meal can actually aid in acid formation on the teeth. Brushing right after consumption of acidic foods can simply cause an etching-like effect on the teeth. It is best to wait about 20 to 30 minutes and let your natural saliva neutralize acids before brushing to avoid rubbing them into the surface of your teeth.
- Floss once a day. Floss for at least two minutes once a day to free bacteria from between teeth and promote the movement between your teeth of fluoride from your toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Rinse. If you don’t have time to let your saliva do its job, rinse your mouth with warm water several times and then brush after a meal. This can be an effective practice even if you do not have access to brush. Warm water can help lower the pH of the mouth and neutralize acid production. Add in mouthwash and you can really do your part to stave off acid damage.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Fairfax, call Dental One Associates of Fairfax today at (703) 664-1990 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Fairfax. With 6 affiliated practices throughout Virginia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Fairfax, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Fairfax.