You might not think there’s a right or wrong way to brush your teeth, but there is! Brushing properly can keep your teeth and gums healthy and help you avoid cavities. If you already have some minor cavities, adjusting your brushing technique could even slow the spread of the decay. That means you will need less dental work and have fewer health problems in the long run.
So, what exactly is the best way to brush your teeth to avoid getting those nasty cavities?
1. Use toothpaste with fluoride.
There are plenty of kinds of toothpaste nowadays that try to market themselves as healthier or more natural because they don’t contain fluoride. However, fluoride is a pro at battling tooth decay and is important for keeping your teeth healthy and strong. There are dozens of options for fluoride toothpaste that will help strengthen your enamel and stop decay in its tracks.
2. Use a circular motion to brush.
That’s right, there is actually a best motion with which to brush your teeth, and it’s not just side to side. Instead, move the head of your toothbrush in small circles. You should also brush away from the top of your gums to loosen food particles and bacteria that are lodged along the gum line.
3. Brush for at least two minutes.
You heard that right: Two minutes is the proper amount of time to brush your teeth. It may seem like a long time, but it’s essential to give your whole mouth a good brush to make sure your teeth and gums are really clean. You can set a timer if it helps you or try singing a song for each section of your mouth. There are also toothbrushes that are equipped with timers that vibrate or light up when your time is up. Many of them are made for children, but there’s no reason why you can’t use them, too!
4. Remember that your teeth aren’t the only things that need attention.
When cleaning your mouth, it’s important to remember that your teeth are only one part of the process. It’s also a good idea to clean your tongue, cheeks, gums, and the roof of your mouth. Some parts of your mouth can be sensitive, so remember to go easy: brush in small, gentle circles. This will not only reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, but also freshen your breath.
5. Finish with a refreshing mouthwash.
If you don’t like mouthwash, you can always use plain water, but you should wash your mouth in some manner after brushing your teeth. This helps kill more bacteria and flush germs out of your mouth. Just swish a small amount around your mouth for 30 seconds, making sure to get your cheeks and all sides of your teeth. Then, spit it out and enjoy your fresh breath – and your lowered risk of tooth decay!