Brushing Habits for Adults

Woman Brushing TeethOver 64 million adults in the United States have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. Proper dental care is important to combat gum disease and various types of tooth decay, and your first line of defense is your daily brushing routine. However, you’d be surprised by how many adults aren’t brushing their teeth properly. Find out if your brushing habits are helping or hurting your oral health.

Choosing the Right Tools

A good brushing routine starts with using the right tools for the job. You should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is no older than three months. It is personal preference whether you use a manual or electric brush. Your toothpaste should be low abrasive, and it is best to avoid products that say “tartar control” or “teeth whitening,” as the additives in these products can cause damage to your teeth in the long run.   

Brushing the Right Amount

The minimum recommended frequency for brushing your teeth is twice a day, usually in the morning and at night. It is especially important to brush after eating sugary foods, as sugar can increase your rate of tooth decay. However, brushing your teeth immediately follow a meal can actually do damage to your teeth because the acidity of some foods can temporarily soften your enamel. Ideally, you should brush about an hour after every meal, after you have rinsed away excess food particles with water.

How to Brush

Technique is an important aspect of your brushing routine. You should brush your teeth in small circles, concentrating on two teeth at a time. Place the bristles at a 45-degree angle and move in gentle, even circles. Slowly brush all your teeth, which should take one to two minutes.

Protect Your Gums

Flossing daily and using an alcohol-free mouthwash will help support your brushing habits. Flossing and mouthwash can help protect your gums, especially in places that are more difficult to reach with your toothbrush. If you begin to see early signs of gum disease or tooth decay, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

For general or aesthetic oral care, schedule your consultation with Dr. Fiss today. Call our office at (312) 642-6631 or contact us online.