Many of Dr. Stephen Malfair’s patients walk in for cosmetic dentistry, family dentistry, or dental implants. Many for routine checkups and cleanings. Most really want to know if they are brushing properly. Having patients come for treatment and leave with questions answered – from which toothpaste to buy to proper tools and techniques – is our business. At Love Your Smile, we are all about educating our patients. Sometimes life is as easy as 1-2-3.
1 Soft Bristle Toothbrush
Gentle brushing will accomplish the same results as hard bristle brushing without the abrasive damage to gums and gum line. There is never a good reason to use hard or medium bristle toothbrushes. Better yet, wet the soft bristle toothbrush to be sure the bristles are pliable before brushing.
2 Minutes of Brushing and Flossing
Split the mouth into fourths and spend a good 30 seconds in each quarter. Hit the chewing surfaces, the inside surfaces, the outside surfaces and gently massage the gums. Be sure to address the far side of the back tooth that is never visible but can collect food and allow decay to begin. Take two minutes to floss after brushing in the evening to remove any remnants the toothbrush couldn’t coax out and to clean any beginning buildup. You have approximately 32 teeth and 32 gaps to floss clean. Two minutes should do the trick, but adding an extra minute for good measure can’t hurt.
3 Times a Day
Brushing after every meal should remain the goal. This is difficult for many who are not home for the midday meal. To achieve extraordinary dental hygiene, brushing is priority one. There are as many toothpaste choices out there as you have teeth; without consistent brushing and flossing, those teeth are facing sure destruction. Don’t misunderstand, toothpaste is critical. Toothpaste acts as the vehicle that collects the debris, keeps the bristles pliable, fluoridates the mouth, freshens the breath and a myriad of other side jobs. But after every meal, gently removing food debris prevents breakdown on precious tooth surfaces. Even if you don’t use toothpaste after lunch, a quick brush can keep your teeth free of buildup.