We all know that it is important to brush your teeth. But just how important is it to brush your teeth the right way? Is the 2/2 rule really that critical? What even is the 2/2 rule? We’re here to answer your questions—not about if you should brush—but exactly how you should brush your teeth.
Which toothpaste should you use?
Let’s start with the basics: toothpaste. What separates the good toothpastes from the ones that could actually do some damage to your teeth? Do we even need toothpaste to prevent tooth decay? Simply the mechanical action of brushing your teeth with a toothbrush is going to remove a lot of the plaque and bacteria from your teeth. However, toothpaste has other benefits. For starters, it is going to leave your mouth feeling much fresher! Who doesn’t like that minty taste after brushing? Many toothpastes also have whitening agents, which is an important factor for many people. Most importantly, though, any toothpaste that has been given the Seal of Approval by the American Dental Association has an ingredient known as fluoride. This ingredient is critical for protecting your teeth from tooth decay.
How do fluoride toothpastes compare to natural toothpastes?
Lately, it seems that many social media celebrities are advertising charcoal powders for brushing. The Journal of the American Dental Association shows no evidence that charcoal is safe or effective for oral health. In fact, using any material that is too abrasive on teeth can be damaging. On top of that, dental erosion can actually cause your teeth to look more yellow, which is the exact opposite effect these toothpastes advertise. That isn’t to say that all charcoal toothpastes are bad, but it is important to discuss with a qualified professional!
What natural toothpastes won’t do is reduce the demineralization process. Each time you eat or drink, the bacteria in plaque release acids on your dental enamel. This causes the dreaded tooth decay that can ultimately lead to cavities. However, the fluoride in your toothpaste helps to restore your enamel and protect your teeth by reversing this demineralization process and even disrupting this harmful acid production process. Essentially, this mineral is critical for your oral health. Therefore, we highly recommend that you choose a fluoridated toothpaste with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval.
Do I really need to brush twice a day?
As we mentioned earlier, half the job of preventing gum disease and tooth decay is in the brushing itself! We always recommend the 2/2 rule, which means that you brush for two minutes, twice a day.
Is it possible to brush incorrectly?
One frequent problem we see in patients is they brush too hard! Too much abrasion on your teeth and gums is bad for oral health, even when you’re brushing your teeth! A good way to check if you are brushing too hard is by looking at the bristles of your toothbrush. Are they bent over, creating a flat in the middle of your brush head? If they are, then you are either brushing too hard or you haven’t changed your brush in way too long. We recommend changing your toothbrush every three months.
Do I have to floss?
We’re glad you asked! And our answer is 100% yes! Flossing removes plaque from hard-to-reach places which could otherwise lead to serious health problems like gum disease and tooth decay. If flossing seems like your personal form of torture, we recommend that you try a water pick.
We can help you choose the right toothpaste and toothbrush for your specific needs!
To make an appointment with any of our qualified professionals and discuss your oral health routine, call Dental Roots in Naperville today!