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Brushing your teeth is important for health. But are you doing it right?

First, make sure you are using an appropriate toothbrush. You should have a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure a quality brush.  This seal is granted by the American Dental Association to products that have passed rigorous testing for effectiveness and safety. An ADA-approved toothbrush will have soft bristles, as hard brushes can damage your enamel and irritate gums. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months–earlier, if it becomes contaminated or if the bristles look frayed or worn.

Once you have the right tool, be sure to use proper technique. Place the brush at a 45* angle to your teeth, and brush gently with back and forth strokes. These should be about tooth-wide, and should not irritate the gums. Make sure you brush all surfaces of the tooth, including chewing surfaces. Brush for two minutes, twice a day. If you have trouble spending that much time on your teeth, try setting a timer or playing two minutes of your favorite song. Before you know it, the two minutes will be over and you will have clean teeth!

Be sure to support your brushing habits with other great oral health care habits. Floss every day for 2-3 minutes, eat good food, and avoid sticky and acidic foods for snacking. Chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after a meal to help stimulate saliva flow to clean teeth in preparation for brushing.

Finally, be sure to support your oral health routine with regular visits to your dentist! This allows problems to be caught early, helping to prevent larger oral emergencies. Professional cleanings also help keep your smile healthy. If you are in the Silver Spring, Maryland area, feel free to give us a call at 301-589-2714. Doctor Faith Cousins and our team here at Faith Cousins DDS will be happy to help you!