Five Steps To A
a little extra time to give your teeth the
care they deserve.
Did you know that it takes two to three minutes to adequately brush your teeth but that most people spend less than 30 seconds brushing? Brushing removes bacteria from our teeth so they can no longer make acid. It is important, however, to remove bacteria from all tooth surfaces. This takes two to three minutes.
2. Do a little flossing. It just
might save your teeth.
You've heard that you need to floss at least once a day. But has anyone ever told you why? It has to do with bacteria again. It likes to hide between teeth to escape the wrath of the toothbrush. Here they continue to feed on food spewing out cavity-causing acid. Worse yet — if allowed to remain for a long time, these bacteria invade and destroy gum tissue as well as the bones and ligament s that support teeth.
3. It's not just the candy that is
dangerous to your teeth.
Bacteria not only use candy to create acid but can also use any food that contains sugars and other carbohydrates. This includes fruits, peanut butter, crackers, potato chips, popcorn and other foods. Especially harmful can be foods like peanut butter and raisins that stick to teeth where they provide a constant source of energy for bacteria. Brush after every meal to remove both the bacteria and left over food particles which bacteria feast on. If you cannot brush after eating, try washing food down with liquids which ensures that less food remains on teeth.
4. Stop brushing so hard.
Incredibly, nearly two out of three people damage their own teeth by brushing too hard! It takes very little pressure to remove bacteria, food and plaque. Unfortunately, most people apply three to four times the necessary brushing pressure causing damage to teeth and gums.
5. Reduce your dependency on coffee.
Believe it or not, coffee is one of the most dangerous threats to your smile. Coffee stains teeth, destroying your naturally white smile. Worse yet, because most people sip coffee throughout the day, bacteria are provided with a constant source of sugar from which to produce cavity-causing acid.
The Brush To
Hard bristles were recommended but now
thought to be too abrasive to the teeth and
gums. It now is suggested that a soft,
rounded-end nylon bristle brush be used.
Be sure to discard brushes when the bristles
are bent or frayed or every three to four
How To Brush
Begin by placing the head of the brush
beside your teeth, with the bristles angled
against the gum line (where the teeth and
gums meet). Think of the brush as both
a toothbrush and a gum brush. With the
bristles contacting both tooth and gum, move
the brush gently in an elliptical motion
across each tooth individually. Use a
short stroke and a gentle scrubbing motion,
as if the goal were to massage the gum.
Don't try to force the bristles under the
gum line; that will happen naturally,
especially with a brush that has soft,
Brush the outer surfaces of the upper and
lower teeth. Then use the same
elliptical motion across the inside
surfaces. Try to concentrate harder on
the inside surfaces; studies show they're
more often neglected. For the upper
and lower front teeth, brush the inside
surfaces by using the brush vertically and
making several gentle up-and-down strokes
over the teeth and gums. Finish up by
lightly scrubbing the chewing surfaces of
the upper and lower teeth. You should
also brush your tongue to keep it clean and
to ensure fresher breath.