Brushing your teeth offers a simple way to remove plaque from your teeth, but brushing too often or not often enough can cause problems. Dr. Edward Yates, your Norwich, CT dentist, explains how often you should brush.
Why is brushing important?
Plaque, a colorless, sticky film that contains bacteria, constantly builds up on your teeth. The sugars in the foods you eat combine with the bacteria in plaque to produce acids. These acids cause bad breath and attack your tooth enamel, creating cavities. Brushing your teeth removes plaque and reduces your cavity risk.
Should I brush once a day, twice a day or eight times a day?
If plaque isn't removed promptly, it will eventually turn into a hard deposit called tartar that can cause gum disease. Tartar irritates your gums and can even cause them to pull away from your teeth. The spaces that form around your teeth when your gums begin to pull away are called pockets. When bacteria begins to grow in the pockets, your risk of bone or tooth loss increases. Once tartar forms on your teeth, the only way to remove it is with the special cleaning instruments your Norwich dentist uses.
Fortunately, brushing offers a simple way to avoid this unpleasant scenario. Brushing your teeth twice a day is very effective at removing plaque before it can turn into tartar. Although it might seem as if the more you brush the better, brushing too often can actually damage your tooth enamel and may even cause your gums to recede, in some cases. The problem is more likely to occur if you brush frequently and don't use a soft-bristled brush, or don't replace your toothbrush often. No matter what type of brush you use, if the bristles are frayed or flattened, the brush has become too abrasive and should be replaced.
How should I brush?
For best results, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree and clean your teeth in short strokes no longer than the width of one tooth. Brush for at least two minutes to ensure that you've cleaned every nook and cranny. Floss at least once each day to remove plaque and food particles from the spaces between teeth.
Daily brushing and regular dental cleanings help you avoid cavities. If it's time for your next cleaning, call Dr. Yates, your Norwich, CT dentist, at (860) 889-6445 to schedule an appointment.