Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars. It constantly forms a film on our teeth. The bacteria in plaque are the main cause of cavities and gum disease. Plaque left on the teeth can harden into tartar (calculus) in as little as 48 hours, and can cause gum disease, and even possible tooth loss. Several days after plaque turns into tartar, only your hygienist or dentist can remove it.
Your Toothbrush Matters
- Make sure your toothbrush fits your hand comfortably. It should be shaped so that it reaches all parts of your mouth.
- A soft bristled brush is the most effective. The bristles get down into the spaces where plaque and food particles hide. Soft bristles are also less likely to harm teeth and gums.
Keep your smile healthy. Practice good brushing at home, and make sure you’re up to date with your dental cleanings and exams. Call your dentist today to make an appointment.
Brush Up Your Skills
Brushing your teeth freshens your breath and gives you a whiter smile. It also removes plaque and food particles from your teeth. Here are tips for effective brushing.
- Angle the bristles next to the outer surface of your teeth toward the gum line.
- Gently move the brush in a circular motion.
- Gently scrub all the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth, making sure to reach the back teeth.
- Using the same circular motion, brush the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
- Scrub the chewing surfaces, especially the grooves that may collect food particles in your back teeth.
- Use the tip of the toothbrush in a circular motion to clean the front teeth.
- Finally, gently brush the roof of your mouth, the insides of your cheeks, and your tongue. This makes your entire mouth feel clean and may also freshen your breath.
Helpful Hints for Brushing Success
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush gently. The tips of the bristles do the cleaning. Don’t squash them.
- Change the position of the brush frequently. Move slowly across all the surfaces of every tooth.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line, where your toothbrush may not reach. That’s where gum disease often begins.
source: “7 Steps To Properly Brush Your Teeth” cigna.com Cigna, Web March 20th 2018.
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