Why is brushing your teeth so important? You may be wondering.
There are two main reasons.
The first is because our mouth is the beginning of the digestive system. We use our teeth to process the food we eat – making it easier to swallow.
The second is because our mouths are the biggest source of bacteria and toxins that exist in the body.
We don’t want them to stick to the food we eat and travel together through our system, right?
We need to maintain good oral hygiene as this is the best way to keep our teeth and mouth healthy, free from bacteria and ensures a healthy digestive system.
Maintaining good oral hygiene only takes a few simple steps – brushing our teeth, flossing them and using mouthwash. It seems easy, right?
But, what if I tell you that most of us actually don’t know how to properly brush our teeth?
Read on and find out all about brushing your teeth properly and the simple mistakes that we can change to gain a healthier smile.
The importance of brushing our teeth
We brush our teeth in order to keep them healthy and strong and have a clean mouth. By brushing our teeth, we remove the bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and buildup of plaque.
Bad oral hygiene leads to bad breath, yellow teeth, cavities, inflamed, infected and bleeding gums and tooth loss – all unpleasant side effects that can be avoided by brushing your teeth properly.
All of this affects our ability to eat and process food. If we are not able to chew the food properly, we won’t be able to swallow it easily. Sending unprocessed food to the digestive system can have a bad effect on the stomach, liver and the intestines.
Brushing our teeth is very easy and it doesn’t take time. We’ve all been taught it as children so why do most of us not know how to do it properly?
Should I brush my teeth after every meal?
Research has shown that if you brush your teeth immediately after you eat, you are rubbing the bacteria back into your teeth – this is counterproductive.
It is recommended that you wait at least a minimum of 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating.
However you don’t want to overbrush! The reason for this is explained later in this post.
You need to brush your teeth twice a day to maintain healthy gums. Doctors are aware that we cannot brush our teeth after every single meal, so they recommend brushing them twice a day. Most suggest brushing in the morning and in the evening for the best results.
How long should you brush your teeth for?
As dentists suggest, you should brush your teeth for 2 minutes.
You may ask why 2 minutes?
The truth is that there is no scientific proof to back up this rule. The tooth brushing “process” should last for around 2 minutes simply because that is the time you need to clean thoroughly all the surfaces of your teeth.
Take as much time as you need to clean your teeth well, but try not to brush them less than 2 minutes.
What will happen if you brush your teeth for less than 2 minutes?
If you brush your teeth for less than 2 minutes, most probably, you won’t clean them well enough and will leave some of the bacteria behind. If there is some bacteria left, there will build up on your teeth, creating plaque and causing some serious problems, such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
When should I brush my teeth throughout the day?
MORNING: You should brush your teeth in the morning in order to remove the bacteria from your mouth and freshen up your breath.
It is important to brush your teeth before breakfast, especially since you don’t want to put any food in a mouth full of bacteria. Also, you don’t want the bacteria to latch onto the food and travel with it through your digestive system.
EVENING: You should also brush your teeth in the evening in order to remove any remaining food in the mouth and reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth.
Think about it – if you’re eating all day then there is bound to be food remains still in your teeth – if these aren’t brushed away there can be a buildup of plaque.
If you don’t brush your teeth in the evening, the food will create bacteria which can breaks down the enamel.
Also, you will develop a bad breath from the decaying pieces of food – which I’m certain you don’t want!
What will happen if you don’t brush your teeth twice a day?
If you don’t brush your teeth, as dentists recommend, the bacteria in your mouth will multiply and will create plaque. Over a period of time, the plaque will build-up and you will be at risk of gum disease, which leads to tooth loss.
What will happen if you over-brush your teeth?
Hold on – you can overbrush your teeth? Is this even possible?
There are a lot of people in the world who brush their teeth more than three times a day. Although, some people believe that the more you brush your teeth, the cleaner they will be, this isn’t necessarily true…
The effect of over-brushing is completely the opposite. If you brush your teeth more than three times a day, you can wear away the gums and the surface of the teeth. This problem is known as “toothbrush abrasion” and can result in sensitive and damaged teeth and tooth loss.
Should you brush your teeth after eating acidic foods?
NO!!! You should never brush your teeth immediately after eating acidic food because they can damage the enamel of the tooth.
Acidic foods, such a grapefruits, oranges and lemons, contain citric acid, which softens the tooth enamel. If you brush your teeth right after eating some of these foods, there is a big chance to damage the softened enamel.
It is a good idea to brush your teeth before eating acidic foods and drink a glass of water after eating.
At least this way your teeth will be already cleaned and you will wash away the acids.
The proper way of brushing your teeth
Although we have been brushing our teeth our whole life, most of us don’t know that they are doing it wrong.
Yes!!! Most of us brush their teeth by moving the toothbrush back-and-forth.
How else are we supposed to do it? You may be wondering.
In this way, they are scrubbing away at the enamel, leaving the teeth more exposed to bacteria. It also causes abrasion of the teeth and the gums. They will age prematurely and will become very sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks.
What’s worse is that this way of cleaning your teeth doesn’t even clean them effectively! You’re cleaning your teeth partially and missing the spaces in between them… where most of the bacteria lies. Also, by missing these spaces, you don’t remove the plaque and other small pieces of food left between the teeth.
Steps for best and most effective tooth brushing
Step 1. Place the toothbrush against the gum at an angle of 45 degrees. Start moving the brush slowly in small circles, several times in the same place.
Step 2. Brush the outer surface of each tooth.
Step 3. Brush the inner surface of each tooth. In order to effectively clean the inner surface of the front teeth, place the brush vertically and make a few circular movements.
Step 4. Brush the chewing surface of all the teeth by moving the toothbrush back-and-forth.
Step 5. Brush your tongue by moving the brush back-and-forth on its surface. Did you know that bacteria and plaque can also be found on your tongue???
Step 6. Brush your teeth with coconut oil.
As we know, there are two types of toothbrushes, manual and electric.
But, which one is better?
Both types of toothbrushes are effective if you know how to brush your teeth properly. However, there are some key differences between them, because of the properties that electric toothbrushes posses and the benefits that come with them.
Four Reasons why an Electric Toothbrush is better than a Manual
An electric toothbrush has a rotating/oscillating head – It can reach further, to the places that we usually miss with a manual toothbrush. This provides more thorough cleaning and better results.
Built-in timer – Also referred to as a “two-minute timer” because it stops working after two minutes. This ensures that you brush for exactly two minutes. Some models allow you to set an equal time for each quadrant (usually 30 seconds), so that you can clean each part of both of your jaws equally long and equally effectively.
Pressure sensor – This feature keeps you from brushing too hard. If you start brushing too vigorously, the brush automatically reduces the power.
Automation of the brushing process – Being electric, these toothbrushes are very easy to use. All you need to do is just to place the toothbrush properly and let it do all the work. This also means less physical work for you.
Neem sticks for natural tooth brushing
Neem sticks have been used for tooth brushing for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic medicine.
There are people who use them even today.
In the past, when people used neem sticks instead of a toothbrush, they didn’t use toothpaste. This is because the sticks contain all the medical properties needed for effective tooth brushing, such as anti-microbial properties.
In order to use neem sticks to brush your teeth, you should chew them until they become thin as bristles. When you chew the sticks, they release juices into your mouth. These juices contain antibacterial properties, which make the sticks as effective as a toothbrush.
When the sticks are thin as bristles, rub them along the gum line as you do with a toothbrush. Being thin, they can reach to all corners and clean even those that are usually hard to reach.
Benefits of using neem sticks:
Prevent gum diseases
Fights the bad breath
Finally, maintaining oral health is very important and we must do whatever we can to prevent gum disease or infection. Whether it’s using an electric toothbrush or neem sticks we need to make sure that we are brushing our teeth properly enough times a day in order to maintain healthy gums and a healthy smile.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get brushing!