Brushing Your Teeth: The Basics

As crazy as it sounds, not everyone brushes their teeth the correct way!  Do you fall in this group?  Keep on reading to see the most commonly asked questions to learn the basics for keeping your teeth healthy and bright.
 
Q: How often do I need to brush my teeth?
 
A:  You should brush your teeth at least 2x a day; once in the morning and once in the evening.  Additionally, you should try to brush after eating foods that leave large particles behind.  Foods such as:
Popcorn
Corn on the Cob
Apples
Steak
Candy
 
Bacteria in your mouth will continue to feed on these foods until you have brushed and flossed, so remember to brush!
 
Q:  How often should I floss my teeth?
A:  You should floss your teeth at least once a day, right after you brush your teeth.  If you are prone to cavities, increase to flossing after every meal, or at the very least, 2x a day.
 
Q:  Should I use a soft, medium, or course bristled toothbrush?
A:  Soft! A soft bristled toothbrush will gently and safely remove plaque and traces of food on your teeth.  Using harder bristles may damage your gums, and you don’t want that.  Soft bristled toothbrushes are the only toothbrushes approved by The American Dental Association (ADA).
 
Q:  Do I need to cover my toothbrush bristles with toothpaste?
A:  Not at all! In fact, you don’t actually need to use toothpaste at all.  Toothpaste companies have taught us that toothpaste helps to remove unwanted particles from teeth and assist in polishing, but this just isn’t true.  All you really need to do this is a soft-bristled toothbrush and some water.  Toothpaste does have a benefit; it’s a great way to have fresh breath after brushing.
 
Q:  For how long should I brush my teeth?
A:  You should brush your teeth for a total of 2 minutes.  To make this easier, think of your mouth as having 4 sections; the top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right.  Brush each section for 30 seconds then move on to the next.  Be sure to brush the front and back of your teeth for your whitest smile! 
 
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with your family dentist in Port Orchard, please call the office at 360-876-6388.

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