How To Keep Your Mouth & Teeth Clean

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Brushing Teeth

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for about 2 minutes to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Plaque is a film of bacteria that coats your teeth if you don't brush them properly. It contributes to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Tooth brushing stops plaque building up. Try to make sure you brush every surface of all your teeth. Brush your teeth for about 2 minutes last thing at night before you go to bed and on 1 other occasion every day. Your dentist or hygienist may give you more advice based on your own dental health and needs.

Type of Toothbrush

It doesn't matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush. Although we prefer electric brushes for everyone, they're both equally good, as long as you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth and you’re using fluoride toothpaste. For most adults, a toothbrush with a small head and a compact, angled arrangement of long and short round-end bristles is fine. Super soft bristles are best for most people, but making sure you thoroughly clean your teeth at least twice a day is more important than the type of brush you use. If in doubt, ask your dental hygienist and dentist.

Type of Toothpaste

It's important to use a toothpaste with the right concentration of fluoride. Check the packaging to find out how much fluoride each brand contains. Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Children don't need to use special children's toothpaste. Children of all ages can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride. Children aged 6 and under who don't have tooth decay can use a lower-strength children's toothpaste, but make sure it contains at least 1,000ppm fluoride. Children under the age of 3 should use just a smear of toothpaste. Children aged 3 to 6 years should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Make sure children don't lick or eat toothpaste from the tube. Your dentist may advise you or your child to use a toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride, if you need it.

Brush Thoroughly

Make sure you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth, which should take about 2 minutes. Remember to brush the inside surfaces, outside surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Children need to be helped or supervised brushing their teeth until they're at least 10 years old. They do not develop full dexterity necessary to effectively brush properly on their own until this age

Using Mouthwash

Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. Don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.

If you have questions about how to better keep your mouth and teeth clean, reach out to our Chevy Chase, MD dental office today to set up a cleaning.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.