You’ve done it every day of your life, but when is the last time you thought about your tooth brushing routine?
Are you still following the brushing instructions you were given for cleaning a youthful mouth some 30 or even 60 years ago?
Do you know what kind of brushing older teeth need, especially for mouths with fillings, crowns, gaps or implants? Certain medications, poor nutrition, too much stress or tension in the jaw can make teeth enamel or gum lines soft and vulnerable to being damaged by inappropriate brushing techniques.
Better brushing can help to maintain your teeth and gums in perfect health for the rest of your life.
Find out if you are using the best brush for your needs, perfect your brushing technique and tweak your timing to give your teeth and gums the best possible chance to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
When it Comes to Your Tooth Brushing Technique, Softer is Better
Always choose the softest bristles for your toothbrush to avoid scratching or gouging the surface of your teeth with a firm toothbrush. Firm and even medium bristles wear down soft enamel, making it more vulnerable to decay. A soft brush allows you to gently polish the surface of your teeth, leaving them so glassy that plaque can’t stick to them.
Rubbing your gums with hard bristles can break the delicate surface membranes, allowing bacteria from your mouth to enter your bloodstream and potentially lead to inflammation in your gut, heart or lungs.
Hard bristles on an electric toothbrush can be even more damaging than those on a regular manual brush. Speedy electric toothbrushes increase the impact of your tooth brushing technique, so it’s even more important to use a soft bristled head and hold lightly against your teeth than with a manual toothbrush.
You can soften your toothbrush even more by running it under hot water before you start brushing.
Polish, Don’t Scrub
Instead of scrubbing your teeth like you are cleaning a kitchen floor, imagine you are gently polishing antique silver plate. Ideally, you can brush so lightly that even after six months your toothbrush bristles will still look brand new!
Try to hold your toothbrush with the tips of your fingers very close to the toothbrush head – like a fancy lady sipping from her bone china teacup. With your fine-motor skills in…