Brushing up on your Brushing
By Mina Levi, DDS, 02/12/2015

Maintaining good oral health at home between normal dental office visits for professional dental cleanings is very important. Keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy ensures that your teeth will last for a long time and you will ward off dental decay. In this article, Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS reminds us on how to maintain good brushing habits at home.

Dentist San Francisco Toothbrushes

How often should I brush my teeth?
You should be brushing at least two times per day, at morning and at night, for at least two minutes at a time to ensure that cavity-causing bacteria are being removed from the teeth and gums.

What brushing technique should I use?
Be sure to hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle toward your gums and move the toothbrush in a circular motion, pressing firmly enough so that the bristles reach between the teeth and under the gums. Do not brush too hard, otherwise your gums will begin to recede away from your teeth. Make sure to brush the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of the teeth, floss between the teeth and brush your tongue.

What kind of toothbrush should I use?
At the dental office of Mina Levi, DDS, we suggest using an electric toothbrush. However, if an electric toothbrush is not an option for you, make sure your toothbrush has a long, wide handle so that a firm grip can occur. Use a soft-bristled brush, because a hard-bristled brush can cause damage to the teeth and gums.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?
Old toothbrushes with worn or frayed bristles are ineffective and can harbor old bacteria. The toothbrush or electric toothbrush head should be changed about every 3 months, or after an illness.

What toothpaste should I use?
No matter what brand or flavor of toothpaste, your toothpaste should have fluoride. Fluoride helps fight plaque and bacteria. Also, make sure the toothpaste has been approved by the ADA.

How much toothpaste should I use?
Only use a pea-size amount of toothpaste, you don’t need to fill the entire brush. A small amount should be enough to cover the entire mouth.

Is flossing as important as brushing?
Yes, brushing removes plaque from the outside surfaces of the teeth, and flossing removes plaque from in between the teeth. You should floss your teeth at least once per day for two minutes. When flossing, make sure to reach below the gum line.

If you have any questions about home care or regular professional dental cleanings, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.