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Quiz Time: Are you brushing your teeth correctly?

Are you brushing your teeth correctly? Here are some great tips to make sure you're maximizing your brushing time and staying away from future cavities!

"• Brush after every meal, because the bacterial attack on teeth begins minutes after eating. At the very least, brush once a day and always before you go to bed.

• Brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Direct the bristles to where your gums and teeth meet. Use a gentle, circular, massaging motion, up and down. Don’t scrub. Gums that recede visibly are often a result of years of brushing too hard.

• Clean every surface of every tooth. The chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side.

• Don’t rush your brush. A thorough brushing should take at least two to three minutes. Try timing yourself.

• Change your usual brushing pattern. Most people brush their teeth the same way all the time. That means they miss the same spots all the time. Try reversing your usual pattern.

• Use a soft brush with rounded bristles. The right toothbrush cleans better. Choose a size and shape that allow you to reach all the way to your back teeth. There are many different types of brushes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you. CDA recommends you replace your toothbrush every three months.

Flossing is another area in in which the road of good intentions is paved in silver fillings.

“A lot of times people go too quickly when they use dental floss, just snapping it up and down between their teeth,” says Schwartz. “But teeth have a convex surface. So if your floss is just going straight between your teeth, then you’re only cleaning a very narrow area of your tooth. You have to wrap your dental floss around each tooth in a C-shape. That way, your dental floss is engaging a lot more of the surface of the tooth.”'


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