Dental hygiene is one of the most important things we can do, and it starts with brushing our teeth. Did you know that teeth are one of the last things to decay when a person dies? In fact, part of the reason we know so much about a lot of ancient civilizations today is because of their teeth. So maybe the next time you don’t feel like brushing your teeth, ask yourself if future generations could learn something from your mouth!
That aside, how exactly do we brush our teeth?
The first step, of course, is to get a toothbrush! Today, you can get toothbrushes varying from very soft to hard, referring to the bristles. Those with sensitive mouths, or a history of dental problems will be best off with a soft-bristled brush, but most people can use a regular-bristled brush. Though many toothbrushes claim to be specially angled, or have specifically designed bristles — you don’t really need to worry about that. Second on the supply list is some toothpaste, and this one, you may need to give some thought to. There’s a toothpaste for just about every dental situation you can imagine, so in this case, it’s fine to ask your dentist for a recommendation. Once you have the supplies ready, you can start!
While some people think you have to cover the entire brush with toothpaste, you actually don’t have to! It’s also not necessary to brush your teeth hard and fast; you won’t win any awards for being first to finish! Instead, put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush, and use the brush gently — it’s more important to get every part of your smile than it is to hurry. There are some varying opinions, but generally, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Taking your time on this means actual plaque removal, instead of just running the brush around your mouth. You can also brush your tongue as well!
For little kids, the spitting is the best part — but you can make brushing fun in other ways. Challenge them with a timer to keep going for the entire time, or encourage them to hum their favorite song as they do it. Many people don’t brush for the recommended time, and so while they may feel like they’re being very healthy, they’re not really. It’s also important to rinse out your mouth and your toothbrush, so you can use the latter next time without worrying about bacteria.
If you’re ever confused about anything to do with tooth-brushing, ask your dentist right away! They can answer any question you may have, whether it’s about toothpaste, what kind of motion to use when brushing, and when it really is time to buy a new toothbrush.