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You know that brushing your teeth is an important part of helping them stay clean and healthy. Do you know how to do it correctly though? It isn’t enough to just brush your teeth twice a day and call it good. You need to do it correctly in order to enjoy the benefits of brushing. So what are the rules about toothbrushing that you could be breaking?

Brush for 2 Minutes

Do you know how long two minutes actually is? Life today is so fast paced and focused on automatic, instant gratification that doing something like brushing your teeth for two whole minutes makes that time feel surprisingly long. Because of reasons like boredom and poorly judged timing, a lot of people fail to brush for the two minutes the American Dental Association has designated as the appropriate amount of time to spend. If you divide your mouth into four quadrants (top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right), and think of it as spending 30 seconds per quadrant, it might be easier to think about. Try setting yourself a two-minute timer to help yourself stay on track.

Change Your Toothbrush Every 3-4 Months

How long do you normally hang onto your toothbrush? Unless you’re changing it every 3-4 months, you’re probably keeping it for too long. That means you should be using 3-4 different toothbrushes throughout the course of the year. Keep an eye on the bristles of your brush. If they’re straight, they should be doing their job properly. If they start bending and fraying, it’s time for a new one. 

Pay Attention to Technique

The way you brush your teeth matters. It’s easy to get complacent about the way you brush your teeth, but it won’t be as beneficial if you don’t do it right. When you hold your toothbrush, do so with a gentle hand. That will help you avoid brushing too roughly. Make sure the bristles are at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. Use soft, short strokes in a circular or vertical direction. Remember to get the front and back sides of the teeth, the chewing surfaces, and your tongue.

When it comes to a personal habit like brushing your teeth, it’s important to realize that the guidelines that have been put in place are there for a reason. Sure, you can ignore them if you want. If you follow the rules of toothbrushing, though, you’ll be better able to keep your teeth clean and healthy for the rest of your life.

Learn more about the basics of oral health here.