The first step to proper dental hygiene is choosing a good toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. A soft brush will remove plaque and is gentle enough not to damage your teeth and gums.

The second step is selecting good toothpaste. As a general rule, any toothpaste that contains fluoride is a good choice unless you have special needs that are determined by our dentist. Two of the best brands of toothpaste are Colgate Total and Crest Multicare.

When brushing your teeth, start at a specific spot and work your way to the opposite side, continuing all the way through the mouth so that you end where you started. If you brush in this way, you won’t miss any area. Usually a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is enough. Brushing your teeth should take at least two minutes and ideally around 4 minutes.

There are several techniques for brushing your teeth, but one of the most popular ones is described below:

Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle toward the teeth and gums. Gently press against the gums so that the tips of the bristles go between the gum and teeth. Apply a few side-to-side strokes and roll the brush down to move the plaque away from the teeth and gums. Repeat this motion six to ten times and then move to the next area of two to three teeth. Any time your mouth becomes full of foam, spit it out and continue brushing. Your brushing is done when you have brushed all of the surfaces of your teeth, not when your mouth is full! On the chewing surfaces, short strokes are most effective in getting the plaque out of the grooves and pits. When you brush the back of your front teeth, hold the brush vertically to be able to reach the teeth better.

Ideally, you should brush your teeth after each meal. If you can’t, brush at least twice a day – after breakfast and before going to bed.

Contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Blake Lawlor and to receive more instruction about dental hygiene in Wichita, Kansas.