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We all know that brushing our teeth every day is very important. But when was the last time you analyzed the effectiveness of your tooth brushing skills? Here are some tips to consider as you “brush up” on your brushing habit.

Proper Tools: The state of your toothbrush makes a big difference in how thoroughly your teeth get clean. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months to reduce contamination and bacterial growth on your brush. Use a very soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Now get ready to brush!

Proper Pressure: Place the brush at a 45* angle to your gum line. Use a gentle pressure–think “massage” rather than “scrub.” If you use firm or harsh pressure, you run the risk of scratching and tearing your gum tissues and tooth enamel. Even scratches you cannot see can introduce infection and disease to your oral tissues, and increase your risk for tooth enamel erosion and cavities.

Proper Time: As you improve your brushing technique, make sure you are brushing your teeth twice a day, for a full two minutes, every day. If you find it difficult to spend that much time on your teeth, try setting a timer. Some individuals find it useful to set a 30-second timer for each quadrant of their mouth, to ensure a quality clean. SOme toothbrushes even come with a timer built-in! Talk to your dentist for more recommendations for your personal oral hygiene habits.

For more information, call Mill Creek General Dentistry in Mill Creek, Washington, at 425-337-5549. Dr. Kerry Olszewski and our team are happy to help you!