Brushing your teeth regularly is key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums and preventing periodontal (gum) diseases, but it’s also important to make sure you choose the right toothbrush for your teeth and use proper brushing techniques.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind when choosing a toothbrush. You’ll want to pick one that:
- Has bristles that are softer rather than harder
- Fits your mouth size. If you have a small mouth, choose a small toothbrush and if you have a large mouth, pick a large toothbrush, says Price.
- Is easy to use, whether it’s a powered or a manual toothbrush
- Once you’ve found an appropriate toothbrush for you, you need to brush your teeth the correct way in order to maintain good oral health and keep periodontal disease at bay.
How to Brush Your Teeth Effectively
The following tips can help you to get the most out of your daily brushing routine:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Some experts recommend brushing after every meal, if possible.
- Take time — at least three minutes — to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth.
- When you brush along your gumline, angle your toothbrush slightly toward your gums.
- Don’t brush too roughly — use a gentle motion so you don’t damage your gums.
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste to fight off tooth decay.
- Focus on cleaning every tooth surface with your toothbrush.
- Brush your tongue to scrape off bacteria that can cause bad breath.
- Brush your teeth with a clean toothbrush and rinse the brush thoroughly after each use. You can also use a small amount of hand soap on the bristles for more rigorous cleaning.
- Replace your toothbrush — or toothbrush head if you use an electric brush — every three to four months.
If you need additional help figuring out how best to brush your teeth, says Price, “Have your dentist/hygienist show you the proper method.” And if you are having dental problems or concerns about your oral health, see your dentist.