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Caring for your smile is crucial to good oral health. You want to protect your teeth and gums from tooth decay and gum disease. At H. Michael Long, DDS, we have some tips to share with our patients in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and the surrounding communities, on how to properly brush those pearly whites!

 Your Toothbrush

First, you want to make sure you brush your teeth every single day, twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using medium or firm strength bristles can damage gum tissue and tooth enamel. Now, whether or not you choose a manual toothbrush or a powered one, is your choice. The goal is to make tooth brushing an event you do faithfully, and whichever one makes you want to brush, do that. Just be sure that the size and shape of your toothbrush fits into your mouth comfortably, letting you reach all your teeth. Aim for replacing your toothbrush as the bristles wear down and become worn, this usually means 3-4 months. Worn bristles can’t effectively clean tooth surfaces and in between teeth and gums.

Brushing Correctly

Once you have your toothbrush, you want to aim for brushing for two minutes each time, using an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste. Generally speaking, if your toothpaste carries the ADA Seal, it will have fluoride in it to protect your tooth enamel. Why do you want to use ADA approved products? Because ADA-approved products have been proven to be both effective and safe to use. Any claims made on the packaging have been proven to be true so you know that the product works exactly as it claims to do.

To begin brushing your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. You will want to gently brush back and forth in short movements. Clean the outside of your teeth, the inside areas, and the tops or chewing surfaces. For the inside of your front teeth, hold the brush vertically and use up-and-down movements.

Caring for Your Toothbrush

Once you finish brushing your pearly whites, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly to remove food particles and toothpaste residue. Let your toothbrush air out between use, so be sure to store it uncovered and upright, and avoid letting it touch another toothbrush to prevent contamination.

Lastly, don’t forget to floss between teeth and under the gumline to remove plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t clean, limit snacking between meals, and come in for professional cleanings.

Dr. H. Michael Long and the rest of our dental team in Tullahoma, Tennessee, are happy to help you with all of your oral care needs. Call us today at 931-455-2595 if you have any questions or need to schedule your next checkup!