Just about everyone knows that brushing twice a day, preferably with a fluoridetoothpaste, is one of the most important ways to keep tooth decay at bay. However, most people don’t know exactly what makes toothpaste valuable as a dental care tool. Here are some facts about how toothpaste helps keep your teeth and gums healthy and cavity free!
- Fluoride toothpaste, which we highly recommend over non-fluoridated versions, is very important as it protects teeth from decay by strengthening the enamel.
- Toothpaste also contains gentle abrasives. These abrasives help to remove solid particles such as plaque and food that can become caught in oral cavities, as well as polishing the surface of the teeth, removing stains caused by certain foods and drinks.
- Antibacterial additives, such as xylitol, are considered safe in low doses and often added to certain toothpastes. These additives can assist in killing harmful bacteria in the mouth that feed on plaque and ultimately cause cavities.
- Toothpaste also helps control bad breath, known as halitosis.
So can you ensure you’re getting the most out of your toothpaste?
- Brush a minimum of two to three minutes each time.
- Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid irritating and damaging gums, and always brush gently in a circular motion, rather than side to side. A circular motion is more effective at removing deposits as well as stains, and also gentler on your teeth and gums. Brushing too vigorously or with bristles that are too firm can cause gingival recession, which is a recession of the gum line.
- Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle when brushing for maximum benefit.
Remember, only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is needed in order for it to be effective, and children under the age of two require no toothpaste at all. It’s also important to note that all kids under age seven need supervision when brushing their teeth, and assistance as necessary, in order to be sure they are brushing thoroughly. However, children should not be given fluoride toothpaste until they are able to spit it out, rather than swallow it.
Our staff is always happy to offer you and your family members a refresher on proper brushing techniques during your twice-yearly check up. If you need to schedule an appointment for your next cleaning, please give us a call today at 734-677-2156, or see our website for more information.