Dental practitioners began encouraging a focus on preventive dentistry over 100 years ago, but according to a recent study, more people in the world own smart phones than toothbrushes. In the US alone, some estimates indicate that 80% of adults have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. Poor oral health puts people at a higher risk for numerous systemic diseases and chronic illnesses, but it remains difficult to reinforce the connection between oral and whole body health and encourage patients to invest in their dental care. Your friendly, family dentists at Smile Fitness Dental Center invite you to visit our Glendale or Phoenix, AZ offices for regular dental examinations and cleanings twice a year for preventive care. Our dentists and hygienists can also help you develop an effective at-home hygiene routine to keep your smile brilliant between visits. Call to schedule your appointment today.
Tooth Brushing 101
Patients who wish to make the most of their daily oral hygiene routine would do well to get back to basics. Effective tooth brushing starts with:
- Twice daily cleanings – We recommend brushing teeth twice a day typically first thing in the morning and before going to sleep. Refrain from eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes after brushing to allow the fluoride from your toothpaste to be most effective.
- Two minutes at a time – Brushing for at least two minutes at a time ensures that debris and plaque has been removed, teeth are cleaner, and fluoride from your toothpaste has been evenly distributed to fortify teeth.
- The right tools – You may think that brushing aggressively with a hard-bristled brush will remove more bacteria and plaque, but gentle brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush is just as effective and prevents possible soft tissue damage. For optimal brushing, always pick toothbrushes that are marked “soft” or “ultra-soft,” and use toothpaste with 1000 to 1100 ppm of fluoride.
- Proper toothbrush care – Always store toothbrushes upright with the head of the toothbrush uncovered. This allows the bristles to dry between uses preventing bacterial or fungal growth. We recommend replacing your toothbrush or brush head every 3 months or when bristles become notably frayed.
Advanced Tooth Brushing
Many patients are not getting the most out of their daily brushing routine because they still utilize the same tooth brushing techniques they learned as children. If you brush your teeth using simple back and forth or circular motions, you may not be effectively removing plaque. Patients who wish to update their brushing technique should consider:
- Brush Angle – Rather than placing your toothbrush flat against the surfaces of your teeth, place the brush at a 45 degree angle toward the gum line while brushing the fronts and backs of your teeth. This removes bacteria from the surfaces of teeth while loosening and removing bacteria around the gums.
- Pressure – Added pressure doesn’t mean better care. Use gentle pressure to remove plaque without damaging soft tissue. Patients who brush too aggressively can harm gums exposing themselves to periodontal disease.
- Motion – The back and forth and circular motions we teach our children are a great starting point for smaller, less coordinated brushers, but these methods do not actually provide the best results. Instead, think of the way a mechanical toothbrush is rested on each tooth and gentle vibration loosens plaque. If you don’t wish to switch to an electric toothbrush, you can mimic the results by wiggling your brush back and forth on each tooth while the bristles remain stationary.
Call Your Glendale, AZ Dentist
Your dental health should be as important as your physical and mental health. If you haven’t committed to a consistent, effective oral hygiene routine, our knowledgeable team urges you to develop the habit of great dental care. Call to schedule an appointment today. Our Glendale and Phoenix, AZ locations offer superior dental care for patients from nearby locations including Sun City, Peoria, Glendale and West Phoenix and all surrounding communities.