One of the easiest things to do if you want to maintain the good health of your teeth is to make sure that you keep them clean at all times. Although cleaning your teeth may seem like a simple act to carry out, there is actually more to it than meets the eye and any dentist will explain to you exactly how to go about you keep your teeth clean and in excellent condition.
Cleaning your teeth isn’t merely a question of scrubbing away with a toothbrush as hard as you can. It’s a question of using the right techniques and cleaning materials and applying them for the optimum amount of time in order to remove the maximum amount of debris whilst preserving the integrity of your tooth enamel.
The first thing to be borne in mind when cleaning your teeth is exactly when to do it. Many people still cling to the belief that you should clean your teeth as soon as you’ve finished eating or drinking, but the truth is that this can actually do more harm than good. If, for instance, you’ve just eaten or drunk something high in sugar or the kind of acids which attack your teeth, then cleaning them straight away will actually only drive the damaging material into the enamel, increasing the harm it might do. As a rule, it’s best to clean your teeth twice a day, first thing in the morning and just before going to bed. The fact of these timings, however, does tend to militate against spending long enough actually cleaning your teeth. In the morning, you’ll probably be hurrying away to get to work or school on time, whilst at night you’ll be tired and keen to get the cleaning over and done with as soon as possible. Despite this, however, dentists actually recommend that you spend two to three minutes cleaning your teeth. Actually measuring a length of time as specific as this, however, is easier said than done, and for that reason it’s recommended that you use some kind of automatic timer to let you know when enough time has elapsed. A kitchen implement such as a boiled egg alarm will do, for example, but many electric tooth brushes have times of their own built in, with alarms which go off to let you know you’ve been scrubbing for long enough.
As well as spending long enough cleaning your teeth, it’s vital that you take the time to ensure that every part of your teeth has been dealt with. All too often, people spend a long time cleaning the parts of the teeth which are prominently on display, but ignore those surfaces which tend to be hidden from view. The irony is that these hard to reach surfaces are probably more likely to harbour a build-up of potentially damaging material.
As well as monitoring the timings of your brushing, it’s vital that you keep a careful eye on your brushing technique. Most people, feeling that getting rid of the maximum amount of foreign matter is the key to good dental hygiene, tend to scrub very hard in a back and forth manner. This, however, can actually damage the enamel of your teeth, wearing it away and rendering it far more vulnerable to decay. Dentists recommend that you hold your toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees and move it gentle, circular motions. Provided you also use a brush which is soft or ultra soft, and which you replace every three months or so, this should combine the removal of plaque and debris with caring for your enamel.
Whilst a modern orthodontist can offer a huge range of treatments aimed at transforming your smile, keeping it in good condition once you leave the surgery is firmly in your hands. There not much point having dental implants, teeth straightening and teeth whitening if you then neglect your teeth and allow them to become dirty and unhealthy.
Looking after your smile is a work in progress, and a job which you can share with your orthodontist. Working with them, accessing their treatments and following their advice, you’ll be able to have a smile which you can be proud of for years to come.