Taking Care of your Oral Health: Proper Brushing

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They say prevention is better than cure. It is true, considering that it is less expensive to maintain your health and prevent yourself from catching diseases, compared to purchasing expensive medications just to cure your ailments.  Your oral cavity, which includes your teeth, gums and tongue, is as important as the rest of your body. Taking good care of your oral cavity may prevent complications: from a simple yet annoying toothache, to unpleasant broken-down teeth. The keys to keeping your oral cavity healthy and preventing these abnormalities from happening are simply by performing proper brushing.

How long does it take to brush my teeth properly?
      The ideal time for proper tooth brushing takes about two minutes. TIP: Singing two “Happy Birthday” songs in your head would determine the ideal duration of proper brushing.

What type of toothbrush should I use?
      Choosing the right type of toothbrush for your teeth is a step closer to achieving proper brushing. A soft-bristled brush is definitely the best for removing food debris and plaque from your teeth. Brushes with small heads are also preferable, which has better navigating capabilities needed for those hard-to-reach teeth at the back.

How long before I change my toothbrush?
      The advisable time to replace your toothbrush is after 3 months. When the toothbrush shows signs of wear, it must be replaced even if it hasn’t been 3 months yet. 

Is there a particular brand of toothpaste I should use?
      It doesn’t matter what brand of toothpaste you use as long as it contains fluoride. Check the labels of each brand and look for this ingredient.
How do I brush my teeth the right way?
It is advisable to perform short, gentle strokes while brushing as to avoid hitting and irritating the gums. Keep in mind also that you not only brush the teeth that are showing externally, but also those hard-to-reach back teeth called molars. Crowns, fillings, and other restorations are required to be brushed as well.Divide your oral cavity in to 4 quadrants(Upper Right, Upper Left, Lower Left, Lower Right) then follow these steps:

  1. Clean the outer surfaces of your upper right teeth, navigate the toothbrush towards the upper left side in doing so. Keep in mind that the stroke for back teeth or molars should be in circular motion, while the front teeth or incisors should have an up-and-down motion. By doing the said strokes, you are minimizing the chance of having teeth abrasion caused by faulty brushing techniques.
  2. Repeat step 1, this time from the outer surfaces of the lower left side towards the lower right.
  3. Clean the inner surfaces of each quadrant of teeth in the same manner as Steps 1 & 2.
  4. Clean the chewing surfaces to remove food particles stuck in pits and fissures of the teeth.
  5. Brush your tongue to rid off debris and bacteria. This will surely result to a much fresher breath.

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