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If it’s been awhile since you’ve received a lecture from your dentist about the basics of toothbrushing, maybe it’s time that you revisit the topic. Things don’t always stay the same and modern methods and advanced technology have changed what was once considered settled science.

Q: What kind of toothbrush should I use?

A: Dentists recommend a soft-bristle so that you treat your teeth and gums gently. Brushing too hard is damaging to tooth enamel and especially detrimental to gum lines.

Q: What toothpaste should I use?

A: The general answer is to simply make sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride. A seal from the American Dental Association (ADA) is a good thing as well. There are so many different kinds of toothpaste available on the market today that help with sensitive teeth, gum disease, whiten your teeth, etc., that you should check with us for a particular need beyond that.

Q: How often should I brush?

A: At least twice a day. Preferably, in the morning and just before you go to bed at night. If you are able to brush after each meal, go for it.

Q: How long should I brush?

A: Two minutes or 120 seconds.

Q: What is the proper way to brush my teeth?

A: Gently, with particular attention paid to the gumline and the pits and fissures of your chewing surfaces. Vigorous brushing is detrimental to your tooth enamel and gums–especially if you already have receding gums from gum disease. Always take it slow and easy with short back-and-forth strokes. Do the front of the teeth and then the back/inside. Make sure to get those back molars-especially if they have fillings. Then, angle your toothbrush at 45-degrees, placing it where the gum meets the tooth, and with a turn of the wrist, make a rolling/sweeping motion away from the gum. Complete your daily routine by brushing your tongue and palate to keep your breath fresh longer.

If you’d like more information, call Dr. Tom Pinnavaia and our team at My Dentists. Make an appointment at: 704-375-8577, or come by our office in Charlotte, North Carolina.