CHICAGO, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Dental Association (ADA) today released seven tips for better brushing in 2017. The following tips provide easy ways to fix common brushing blunders.
- Keeping your toothbrush for too long: The average life of a toothbrush is three to four months. Make a resolution to change your toothbrush with every season this year. Frayed and broken bristles are signs it's time to let go. When you're shopping, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Not brushing long enough: Teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day. The average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. If you're racing through cleaning, try setting a timer. Or distract yourself by humming your favorite tune.
- Brushing too hard: Be gentle with your teeth. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and the bacteria that loves to eat it, but a gentle brushing is all that's needed. Too much pressure may wear down the hard outer shell on your teeth and damage gums.
- Brushing right after eating: Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing – especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit or soda. Drink water or chew sugarless gum to help clean your mouth while you are waiting to brush.
- Storing your brush improperly: Keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Don't keep your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow, and if your toothbrush is in a holder next to another, keep them as separate as possible.
- Using a brush with hard bristles: Soft bristles are the way to go. You don't want to use medium or hard bristles because these may wear down the outer shell of your teeth and may cause sensitivity when eating or drinking cold food and beverages.
- Improper brushing technique: Get your best brush with these steps:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Patients should consult with their dentist regarding best brushing techniques. The American Dental Association offers more tips on brushing at MouthHealthy.org.
Editor's Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn
About the American Dental Association
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 159,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org.
SOURCE American Dental Association