How much time do you devote to oral hygiene every day? If your mornings are hectic, you may not be devoting enough time to this important task. Our Federal Way, WA, dentist, Dr. Todd Yoshino, explains how long you should spend on brushing and flossing and shares a few tips that will help you keep your teeth healthy.
Five minutes is all it takes to protect your smile
Brushing your teeth get rids of surface stains, loosens food particles stuck between teeth, freshens your breath and removes plaque from your teeth. Unfortunately, if you just make a quick pass with your toothbrush because you're running late in the morning, or skip your nightly brushing because you're just too tired, plaque remains on your teeth. The sticky film causes cavities and may even increase your gum disease risk. When you don't remove plaque every day, it may eventually turn into a hard brownish deposit called tartar. Tartar irritates your gums and is responsible for gum disease.
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time will help you ensure that you don't miss a spot. When you include a one-minute flossing session with your morning or evening brushing, you'll also get rid of plaque between teeth.
Brushing too hard can hurt your teeth and gums
Using a little elbow grease can be helpful when you're trying to remove a stain from the floor of your Federal Way kitchen. The same principle doesn't apply to your teeth. If you brush too hard, use a toothbrush with flayed or worn out bristles, or don't use a soft bristle brush, you can damage your tooth enamel. Brushing too hard or using an old brush can also cause your gums to recede, which may cause tooth sensitivity when you eat or drink hot or cold foods.
For best results, gently brush at a 45-degree angle with a soft bristle brush. Replace your tooth brush every three months or when it shows signs of wear.
Mouthwash offers added protection
Following your brushing and flossing session with mouthwash offers a little added protection against tooth decay and gum disease. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride remineralize weak areas of tooth enamel at risk of cavities, while anti-bacterial types kill bacteria that can cause cavities. Avoid rinsing or drinking a beverage for about 30 minutes after you spit out the mouthwash to take full advantage of the benefits of mouthwash.
Good oral hygiene techniques and regular dental visits help your teeth bright and healthy. If it's time for your next appointment, call Federal Way, WA, dentist, Dr. Yoshino, at (253) 815-0441.