1. Not Brushing: Although toothbrushing is not as neglected as flossing, I frequently encounter discrepancies, whether it be duration or frequency of brushing, technique, thoroughness, or lack of tongue brushing. I have even come across some cases where patients refuse to brush altogether! Inadequate brushing makes its easier for oral bacteria to flourish leading to problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Here are some things to remember when brushing:
  2. Brush at least twice/day for 2 minutes each time
  3. Most people should point the bristles at a 45 degree angle towards the gums, using small circular scrubbing pattern. This cleans the teeth and the supporting gums.
  4. Make sure you can see and feel your toothbrush getting into those tough-to-reach areas. During exams, we often find that most of the build-up and infection occurs in the areas that are hard to reach and easy to miss.
  5. Brush your tongue daily! Your tongue is a like a thick carpet that can collect bacteria and food, being one of the leading causes of bad breath.
  6. An electric toothbrush is superior to a manual brush in regards to plaque removal, but it is good to alternate with a manual brush, which is better for massaging and cleaning the gums.

Like flossing, adequate brushing is an easy way to prevent a lot of harm and need for costly dental treatment in the future!