Now that we’re past all the sugary holidays, such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your tooth brushing habits.
If you ask your friends and family – especially your kids – if they know the best way to brush their teeth and keep their mouth healthy, they’ll probably say, “Of course!”
But there are some things you should know when it comes to brushing your teeth and how best to do it – especially if you’re like my family and have had a few extra sweets throughout the last month with Valentine’s Day.
I’ve partnered with Crest and Walgreens to give you a refresher course on how to brush your teeth for the best oral health. Following these steps will help keep your mouth healthy, your teeth sparkling and your breath fresher.
Pick the right brush
Most people think they need a hard-bristled tooth brush because they need to brush away plaque. In reality, softer brushes are healthier for your teeth. According to the American Dental Association soft-bristled brushes are gentler on your gums and the bristles are more flexible – allowing them to get in the cracks and crevasses of your teeth. Also, the size and shape of the brush should be appropriate for your mouth.
The ADA also recommends changing your brush every three months or once bristles begin to fray, and make sure you look for a brush with the American Dental Association seal of approval – like Oral B.
Frequency matters but also…wait
Twice a day is best. You know that rule, but did you know that you should wait 1 hour to brush after eating? According to the American Dental Association waiting to brush will help to preserve your enamel. Food reduces the pH level in your mouth and your mouth will be more acidic after eating. This naturally weakens your teeth and brushing during this time can damage your enamel by removing tiny particles. Saliva will gradually begin to remove the acid and restore the pH level.
The 2-minute rule
When you brush you want to make sure you do it for two minutes each time. Brushing for the ADA recommended amount of time is proven to lead to a reduction in plaque versus brushing for one minute. A review of 59 papers was published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene in 2012 found that people who brushed for one minute removed 27 percent of plaque whereas people who brushed for two minutes removed 41 percent of their plaque.
When brushing you also want to hold your tooth brush as a 45-degree angle towards the gum line. The ADA recommends this for the best cleaning between teeth and gums.
I’m guilty of not brushing in the correct direction with my toothbrush, especially in the front. You want to make sure you are brushing vertically because horizontal brushing can damage your gums and cause them to recede. Instead brush your teeth in an up and down pattern.
Brush from the back to the front
Starting by brushing the back of your teeth first allows you to clean your teeth in a way that will be more beneficial to the whole cleaning process. If you start in the front and finish with the back, you will end up dragging the dirty particles from the back over the teeth you already cleaned in the front. Starting in the back allows you to end up with a cleaner mouth.
Use a toothpaste that does double or triple duty
You want to use a tooth paste that fights cavities, fights tartar, freshens your breath and helps to keep your teeth whiter. Toothpaste like Crest Complete Whitening Plus Scope and Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh Whitening Toothpaste do just that but they also provide some added bonuses.
Crest Complete Whitening Plus Scope Toothpaste is the only toothpaste that combines the whitening power of Crest toothpaste with the freshening power of Scope mouthwash and Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh Whitening Toothpaste can remove up to 80 percent of surface stains and protect against future stains. The 3D White fluoride toothpaste also helps to strengthen your tooth enamel and helps to protect against future cavities.
We are a Crest family and have loved Crest toothpastes help to keep our smiles white and protect our teeth. My husband and I both also love how fresh our breath is after we indulge in the sweet stuff due to a holiday like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas or Easter.
Right now, you can save $2 with eSaver coupon on Crest products at Walgreens. It makes this a perfect time to try Crest Complete Whitening Plus Scope Toothpaste or Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh Whitening Toothpaste. The offer is valid from 2/27 – 3/5. save $2 with eSaver coupon on Crest products at Walgreens
Remember to brush your tongue
While the ADA says this step isn’t as essential as brushing twice a day or the 2-minute rule, but this is a step you should follow if you want your breath to be as fresh as it can be.
A lot of bacteria live in your mouth and tongue and they can produce smelly breath that may be a turn-off to friends and family. According to the Mayo Clinic, your tongue is the product of all the food you eat too and can have a build-up of microorganisms that can cause the bad breath and even tooth decay. Lightly brushing it will help to decrease the amount of built-up, harmful bacteria.
Floss like your teeth depend on it
Each tooth has five surfaces and if you don’t floss you are leaving two of those surfaces uncleaned. Flossing will remove the sticky bacteria between your teeth and reduce the risk of having cavities in those hard to reach places, according to WebMd.
For more information on Crest Complete Whitening Plus Scope and Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh Whitening Toothpaste, click here.
For more family health posts, click here. For more parenting tips, click here.
I didn’t know about the hour wait after eating actually! These dental hygiene tips are great.
These are great tips. Most people think brushing is just sticking your toothbrush in your mouth and scrubbing around, but it’s so much more than that.
Oh man I def need to change up how I brush!
I have a sonic toothbrush that has a 2-minute timer which is very helpful which goes off every 30 seconds to make sure you reach all four quadrants of your mouth. I have been a Crest girl for as long as I can remember. It is a proven product and has always done well by me. “Look, Mom, no cavities” 🙂
So important to do this and teach our kids to be more careful while brushing. Mine would just walk off , or rinse their mouths with water if they could.
Interesting, I didn’t know you had to wait an hour after eating to brush teeth. I hear a lot of people brush as a stop eating cue haha.
I honestly was not aware of NOT to brush your teeth right after eating! I learned something new! This is such an informative post!
We’ve gone as far as to buy our girls expensive Sonicare toothbrushes. It seems to help, especially with the built in timer!
Crest toothpaste rocks! I think most of us could stand to improve our oral care routine. I brush twice a day but need to work on flossing more.
I learned something new today. I didn’t know about waiting an hour after eating or to start at the back of the mouth when brushing. The fun part is going to be getting my son to brush properly.
This is great! I had no idea you’re not supposed to brush your teeth right after food, that’s how i’ve always done it. Thanks a lot for the great info.
I am so bad with flossing. My husband is good with it but for some reason I just avoid it.
Currently in the process of teaching my daughter about teeth brushing. Luckily I have great teeth so I can set a good example
The 2-minute rule seems like forever! Thankfully my electric toothbrush has a built in timer and turns off after 2 minutes which makes it helpful.
Have to get my son to do this. Crest is a go to though
I have always gone to the dentist and been obsessed with doing the best job brushing. all of your tips were spot on! stay clean. 🙂
This is such an useful post. It’s so important to have a good oral health. Thanks for sharing this!
Very useful blog post because although we all take for granted that brushing our teeth is easy 90% of us always do it the wrong way xD
Funnily enough I found this one of the most useful things I’ve read this week… haha all this time I’ve been doing it wrong – haven’t been told how to brush my teeth in 20 years!
Brushing your teeth correctly is so important. I probably don’t brush as long as I should as the toothpaste starts to become a bit too much for my tiny mouth, but I brush at an angle and vertically.
Oh my goodness, some tips are new to me. ha! I need to switch my way of brushing, and maybe the toothpaste too!
Geeze why don’t they teach this stuff in school!
These are all great tips and a good reminder. I didn’t know the hour wait rule!
Oh boy! I’ve learnt a few things from this post! I had no idea about the 1 hour rule or that you should only brush for two minutes.
These are great tips. I’ve always struggled with issues with my teeth, and it really stinks to have to go through it. These are useful to know when it comes to oral hygiene.
There are some tips here I didn’t know about. I will have to teach these to the kids!
I need to start flossing more. I also have a bad habit of brushing too hard, which can cause problems in the long run.
I love brushing my teeth and taking care of my oral health. These were great tips that I am in the process of teaching my kids so that they have good oral health as well. Taking care of your teeth is very important!
I think many of us brush right after eating because food tastes disgusting if you brush before you eat and there isn’t enough time to wait an hour to brush after you eat because there are places to go like work. These are great reminders. Thanks for sharing!
Great tips! I’ve been using Crest 3D White for years and love it. I have a toothbrush with a timer on it that helps me keep brushing for the recommended amount of time.
I really need to modify my brushing routine. This is a great post. Who knew that we needed an hour wait before eating? You have given some great tips.
Crest toothpaste sound like an amazing product! I find these tips super helpful because I really could use more lessons on how to improve on my oral hygiene.
I didn’t realize brushing horizontally could hurt the gums.
this is great thanks for sharing. didnt know about waiting an hour after eating. these are some great tips especially for my children.
Great tips, I didn’t actually know some of this stuff!
I preach this to my kids so they know it well! I tend to ask them ‘did you brush your tongue too?! and I get the ‘yesssssssss mom!’ drawn out because they know it’s coming… they’ll thank me later in life for instilling good brushing habits ; )
This is really a great post and helpful for good oral health. Thanks for sharing.
Oral health is so very important. I know that we have a routine down to get everyone to brush!
How do I know which product is the best among the ones listed here?