1. Choose the Right Tool
The size of your brush plays an important role to proper oral health care. It should feel good in your mouth and in your hand, so you’ll use it often.
Know your bristles, too. If they’re really stiff, they can hurt your gums. A soft brush is best
Electric or manual? It’s an individual choice. Electric toothbrushes can make it easier to do a better job, especially if you have arthritis or other trouble with your hands, arms, or shoulders
2. Give It Time
Are you brushing enough? Twice a day is recommended
It should take at least 2 minutes each time. We suggest dividing your mouth into four sections and spend 30 seconds on each
Some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers
3. Don’t Overdo It
Brushing more than three times a day might not be ideal because too much can wear down your teeth’s outer shell, called enamel, and damage your gums
Use a lighter touch when brushing. If you use an electric brush, let the bristles do the work and just guide the toothbrush
Be gentle. It doesn’t take a lot of force to remove plaque
4. Perfect Your Technique
Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and make an up-and-down motion
Use short strokes
Brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, back molars, and your tongue
And, don’t forget about those hard-to-reach areas
5. Switch Things Up
Do you always begin in the same place? Dentists say most of us do. Start in a different place so that you don’t get lazy. Stay aware of what you’re doing
6. Pick Products Wisely
The kind of toothpaste you use matters
The ones that brighten or control tartar can be harsh. An increase in whitening particles can be harmful and sand away tooth structure.
Go back to plain old fluoride toothpaste. If you want to lighten your smile, you can always switch between whitening toothpaste and regular.
7. Control Your Sour Tooth
Energy drinks, diet sodas, and sour candies — even healthy things like apple juice, orange juice, and coffee — have acid that can soften tooth enamel. If you drink these beverages, wait half an hour before you brush. That gives your saliva time to restore tooth enamel
8. Avoid ‘Potty Mouth’
Most of us store our brushes in the bathroom — not the cleanest place in the house
To keep yours tidy, stand it up in a holder. If you leave it on the counter, you could expose it to germs from your toilet or sink.
Don’t let two brushes touch if they’re stored together
Air dry your toothbrush– a moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria
Use a cover that lets air in when you travel
9. Let It Go
How old is your brush? You should get a new one every 3 or 4 months
Also, give it the eye test. Once the bristles lose their normal flexibility and start to break apart, change your toothbrush. Frayed or broken bristles won’t clean as well
Change your toothbrush after being sick
If you can’t decide which toothbrush to buy, ask your dentist which kind is best.