There is no Olympic medal up for grabs in tooth brushing technique. And that is too bad because it would make the gold medal dream a little more attainable for the majority of humankind. But, alas, the glory of good oral hygiene technique lacks fanfare or a podium stand. It does, however, pay well with confidence, lower dental bills, and a bright smile. (As the creators of teeth whitening kits, we really like that last one.) You can't put those things in a glass case, but they are sure good to have around. And, just like those Olympic dreams, good brushing takes practice and training.
It's All in the Wrist
Angle is a crucial part of effectively brushing your teeth. You'll want to hold your toothbrush head at a forty-five-degree angle against your teeth. This helps it get to the gumline. Use small circular motions and clean the outside surface of all the teeth, and you aren't sanding a deck, so go easy. Plaque can be removed by a gentle, regular brushing, no need to be rough. The inside surfaces need attention as well and those crevices in the back are often neglected. They work hard chewing and food likes to hide back there.
Brushing and flossing go hand in hand because the toothbrush is not designed to go in between your teeth, but food loves to get trapped there and if left there, plaque will quickly join the party. If the bacteria in the plaque settles there and is not removed or disrupted by a floss, that could lead to swelling, bleeding gums, and loss of attachment of the ligaments to teeth that hold the teeth firmly. If it travels further down it could lead to loss of bone which leads to very mobile teeth, exposed roots, and extreme sensitivity. For more guidance, you can watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PreNWWOYfI
Don't Forget the Tongue
Brushing your teeth is pretty standard advice, but there's a big part of your mouth that sometimes gets ignored, and it deserves attention as well. The tongue might argue that it deserves a nice massage twice a day even more than the teeth--after all they just stand in one place, the tongue is the busy one! There are a few reasons why taking some time to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner is a good idea:
We've all been in a conversation with someone to whom we might like to offer a free bottle of mouthwash. It isn't pleasant. And it is perhaps even worse worrying that we might be inflicting that on someone else. So, we dutifully brush our teeth, but they don't have much to do with the freshness of our breath. The tongue is the main culprit there. Teeth are smooth and shiny surfaces where bacteria can be washed away quite easily. The tongue, however, is a soft and squishy host for all kinds of bacteria. They can settle in and get quite comfortable there. Cleaning your tongue with a tongue cleaner regularly will help keep your tongue clean and your breath fresh.
Bacteria isn't just smelly, it is dangerous. The bacteria that lives so comfortably on your teeth can spread to other soft parts of your mouth, specifically, your gums. Bacteria can hide away in the pockets of your gums and lead to infection and, eventually, periodontal disease. This is an infection in those deep pockets between teeth and gums. Brushing your tongue can lower the chances of that happening dramatically.
Cleaner Tongue Makes Food Taste Better
Trust us on this one. Taking the time to regularly clean your tongue livens up the taste buds and removes plaque build up on your tongue. This regular scrubbing will leave your taste buds fresh and ready to enjoy that spicy salsa even more.
The tongue is the first line of defense. Everything you eat, drink, or breathe passes by your tongue first. Keeping that tongue clean with regular flossing and scraping your tongue can prevent toxins from being absorbed into your body and boost your immune system overall.
How to Do It?
When you brush and floss your teeth, you can give a bit of extra time to include your gums and tongue, and that will certainly help. Still, giving extra attention to the tongue itself will help even more. Here are some steps:
The advice to brush your teeth regularly is nothing new. We teach it to our kids early and are pretty good at remembering to do it ourselves. And when something is that regular, we sometimes stop paying attention to how we are doing it. Brushing our teeth at all is better than not brushing our teeth, but brushing our teeth the right way is even better. Get the right brush, the right angle, and do it for the right time. Get those teeth in the back and then take a few extra moments to give the tongue some attention. Your teeth will be whiter, your breath will be fresher, and your dentist bills will be lower. Happy brushing!