Brush your teeth twice a day and for two minutes each time. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride (FLOOR-eyed), a natural mineral that helps make your teeth stronger. It’s also important to clean your teeth with floss or another between-the-teeth cleaner every day. This helps remove bits of food and plaque from between the teeth and under the gum line that
a toothbrush can’t reach.
Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush in a size and shape that fits your mouth comfortably. Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles are worn or frayed. Worn toothbrushes won’t clean teeth properly.
Both manual and powered toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque. If you have hand, arm or shoulder problems that limit movement, a powered toothbrush may be easier for you to use.
Supervise teeth brushing for children up to age 6—make sure they use the right amount of toothpaste and spit the toothpaste out. Begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in and until the age of 3 years, using a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. After age 3, use a pea-sized amount.
When choosing a toothbrush, floss and fluoride toothpaste, look for products that show the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. This means that the product meets the ADA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.
Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about the best way to brush your teeth.
Here are a few tips to help you start a good routine:
Place your toothbrush against your gums at a 45-degree angle. Move the brush back and forth gently and in short strokes, about as wide as each of your teeth.
Brush the outer tooth surfaces, keeping the toothbrush at an angle to the gums.
Brush the inner tooth surfaces.
Brush the chewing surfaces.
Use the top part of the brush to clean the inside surface of the top and bottom front teeth. Use a gentle up-and-down motion.
Eating a healthy diet, limiting snacks and visiting your dentist regularly will help you keep your smile healthy for years to come.