Dental hygiene depends on effective daily habits, but in addition to choosing toothpaste that’s formulated for your teeth, picking out the perfect brush, and flossing each day, you also need to think about how long you brush. There’s a sweet spot, but it comes as no surprise that most people don’t brush their teeth for nearly long enough—ideally, everyone should brush their teeth for two to three minutes, but most of us only do it for 30 seconds. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you’re brushing long enough.
Do You Brush Every Tooth?
If the answer is no, then you’re not brushing your teeth long enough. It’s essential to brush every tooth in your head from front to back and top to bottom. Keep in mind that you can’t do that if your brushing style involves randomly scrubbing your teeth. Brush your chompers thoughtfully, moving the bristles of your toothbrush in circles over your teeth.
Do You Brush Aggressively?
Take a look at your toothbrush. How are the bristles looking these days? If they’re all spread out and squashed, then you have an aggressive brush stroke, which suggests you don’t spend enough time brushing your teeth. How could you? Your teeth probably ache after half a minute. Harsh brushing is often the reason behind bleeding gums, too.
Do You Brush at Least Twice a Day?
Just a few decades ago, dentists hammered home the importance of brushing three times a day, but that feat proved impossible for any member of the population attending work or school. Today, the recommended daily minimum is twice a day. Needless to say, brushing your teeth less than that means you definitely aren’t brushing them long enough — or often enough. Don’t forget that in addition to brushing regularly, you should floss once a day.
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Poor eating habits can cause more than just weight gain. Eating foods high in sugar and starches can also damage your teeth. Help strengthen your teeth and gums by choosing foods that help you maintain a healthy mouth.
Cheese and yogurt are great sources of calcium and protein. Both contain good bacteria that help fight tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel. Make sure you select yogurt with no added sugar, though.
Leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals. Kale and spinach are particularly high in calcium and help strengthen tooth enamel. Leafy greens also contain folic acid, a nutrient found in vitamin B, which is especially important for pregnant women. If salads aren’t your thing, try adding spinach or kale to a pizza or mix into a smoothie.
Fruits can help soothe your sweet cravings without adding processed sugar to your diet. Apples are excellent choices because they are high in fiber and water. When you eat an apple, your mouth produces a lot of saliva, which washes away bacteria and food particles that contribute to cavities. The texture also stimulates your gums and keeps them healthy.
Vegetables are also tasty and can help your teeth. Carrots are full of fiber and provide a major source of vitamin A. Crunchy fruits and vegetables act a little bit like a toothbrush by scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. Celery is another smart choice and contains antioxidants that encourage healthy gums. If you find celery bland, add a topping like cream cheese or natural peanut butter.
Eating better helps keep your mouth healthier. Remember though, nothing takes the place of brushing and flossing your teeth. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, call Dr. Braverman for a professional cleaning that will keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
Keeping your teeth in good condition is crucial to staying healthy. However, it’s easy to forget the little things you can do to avoid common tooth issues. If you don’t know the most common problems with teeth and how to avoid them, read on to learn more.
Have you ever bitten into something cold and realized it hurt? Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental issues people suffer from. Depending on the severity of the sensitivity, it can have an impact on your daily life. There are several ways to help reduce the sensitivity of your teeth. Toothpaste made specifically for this issue uses potassium nitrate that helps block tubules in your teeth, cutting down the pain you feel. It’s important to avoid acidic items such as oranges, soda, and coffee, which all damage the enamel on your teeth.
Have you ever come home from a dentist appointment to give a laughing tally of how many cavities you have? Cavities are no laughing matter and can lead to more severe problems with your teeth if they’re not taken care of quickly and effectively. The best way to ensure that you don’t get cavities is to get rid of the plaque buildup in your mouth by brushing and flossing twice a day. Don’t miss your dentist appointments, either, so you can catch issues before they become a problem.
Over time, teeth start to yellow, which can lead to lower confidence and unwillingness to smile. While yellow teeth may not necessarily be considered a health problem, it is a big problem for many. To avoid yellowing teeth, stay away from items that are known to cause the issue, such as tea, coffee, and smoking. You can also use over-the-counter whitening products or visit a dentist who specializes in whitening.
Be more comfortable in your smile and the health of your mouth. Contact Dr. Braverman today for more information on avoiding common teeth problems and fixing any issues you currently have.
Some people buy the most expensive toothbrush on the market while others don’t put any thought into their toothbrush at all. Although there isn’t one right toothbrush for everyone, it’s important to find the right toothbrush for you.
Is It From a Reputable Manufacturer?
Although the brand name doesn’t necessarily matter, you do want to make sure your toothbrush comes from a reputable manufacturer and not from the dollar bin. Your toothbrush is going into your mouth at least twice a day, and you want to make sure the materials are safe. When you spend extra money on your toothbrush, you also get other benefits like a brush that is designed to clean every crevice and take care of your gums. Cheap toothbrushes just aren’t capable of cleaning your mouth well and improving your oral hygiene.
Should You Upgrade to an Electric?
If you use a traditional toothbrush, you may want to consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush. It’s completely possible to keep your mouth healthy with a manual toothbrush if you consistently brush long enough. However, if you have wrist issues, like carpal tunnel or tendonitis, it might be easier to use an electric toothbrush and let it do the work. If you don’t think you brush as long as you should, an electric toothbrush can take out the guessing game for you.
Is Your Toothbrush Comfortable?
Make sure your toothbrush is comfortable in your hand and your mouth. Different shaped toothbrushes are better suited for different mouths so if something feels off, keep shopping. Furthermore, if it hurts to brush, you aren’t doing it right. Even though you might be tempted to use hard bristles to really scrub, it can be damaging to your teeth and your gums.
Your dentist is your best resource for finding the right toothbrush for you. If you have questions about your toothbrush or want to improve your smile, contact Dr. Braverman’s office to schedule an appointment today.
Flossing prevents gum disease, plaque, bad breath, and tooth decay by getting rid of debris and bacteria that a toothbrush or mouthwash can’t reach. You should floss once per day to keep your teeth healthy and increase blood circulation in your gums. It only takes a few minutes, and you can take care of it while you relax on your sofa or watch TV. Here are the steps you should take when you floss your teeth.
Choose a Type of Floss You Like
There are many types of floss available, including products with or without wax, dental tape, and thinner comfort floss. You can also use a floss holder or pick to reach your back teeth more easily. Choose a fun floss flavor like coffee, bacon, or absinthe. You can also use flavorless floss or a more common flavor like mint or cinnamon.
Use Plenty of It
You should use about 18 inches of floss every time you clean your teeth. Wind the ends of the floss around one finger on each hand and hold the floss tightly between your fingers. Guide the floss between your teeth with a gentle rubbing motion, and move it against the sides of each tooth.
Don’t Spread Bacteria
You should use a new section of floss in the space between each tooth. That way, you can keep bacteria from spreading and fight cavities more effectively. Make sure you don’t snap or press the floss into your gums because it could cause bleeding, irritated gums, or even infections. If you just started flossing regularly, some bleeding is normal. However, you should see your dentist if it lasts for more than a week or two.
The New York City Center for Cosmetic Dentistry’s Smile Studio can give your smile an amazing makeover. Porcelain veneers, implants, whitening, Invisalign, and other procedures are available. For more tips on flossing and getting a perfect smile, contact Dr. Mal Braverman, one of the leading NYC cosmetic dentists.