How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
Dental hygiene is subjective to many, depending on our availabilities and priorities. Some people make it a point to brush their teeth after lunch or snacks, while others make do with brushing their teeth in the morning and the evening. This brings to mind this very pertinent question: is there such a thing as brushing your teeth too often?
As it turns out, yes! There’s a reason dentists and other oral hygiene professionals would tell us to frequently change our toothbrushes, once every three months or whenever the bristles are worn out, whichever comes first. Why?
Brushing your teeth too frequently can damage your tooth structure and wear out the tooth enamel. This occurs because the bristles of your toothbrush are made up of nylon bristles that are rounded into soft domes – that is, they are soft enough to just clean your teeth and not to damage them. However, frequent usage of the toothbrush would wear down the bristles and revert them to their original state – that is, jagged and sharp, with serrated edges. When this happens, your toothbrush can then scrape away enamel and dentin from your teeth.
As a result, you have to throw away your toothbrushes before the bristles splay so that you’re reassured that your toothbrush would not wear away your tooth structure. You also have to choose toothbrushes that wouldn’t hurt your gum. For this reason, toothbrushes are available in three variants (Soft, Medium, and Hard): choose which one would benefit you the most without damaging your teeth and gums.
Now that we’ve established that frequent brushing can damage your teeth (as well as the use of wrong toothbrushes!), it’s time to determine the right frequency for brushing your teeth.
First, you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Most people do this once every morning upon waking up, and before they go to bed at night. You can also brush your teeth after your midday meal.
Next, use short, gentle strokes to clean your teeth. Brush the outer and inner surfaces, as well as your tongue. If you have to clean in between your teeth, then use vertical brush strokes.
Then, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes at a time. This would ensure that you have adequately removed all the plaque, food residue, and bacteria that may be in your mouth.
Lastly, remember to floss each night before going to bed to ensure that there is nothing stuck in your teeth.
Keep Away Tooth Decay
Above all, you should visit your dentist every six months for an oral prophylaxis. These regular visits would ensure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be. Your dentist would also use this opportunity to clean your mouth thoroughly to get rid of the tartar and plaque buildup.
With the proper toothbrush, brushing techniques, and regular visits to your dentists, you are on your way to having a perfect, flawless smile. Just remember to regularly brush your teeth – and to brush them for at least two minutes!