Brushing regularly is a critical part of a good dental hygiene routine, yet research has found that while most people brush, many do it improperly. Perhaps the biggest brushing no-no people commit is skipping over the inner surfaces of their teeth, opting instead to simply brush the most visible or easily accessible portions. Food and drinks make the most contact with the inner areas of the teeth, so neglecting them can cause significant dental problems in the long-term.
Use an Angled Toothbrush
A standard straight toothbrush can make it extremely difficult to get into hard-to-reach places, like the backs of the front teeth and rear molars. For this reason, a toothbrush with an angled head is recommended. These special brushes provide the shape and leverage needed for thorough brushing in troublesome spots.
Seek Dental Correction
For some people, misaligned, overlapped or crooked teeth make proper brushing extremely difficult. While this doesn’t mean you should give up brushing, your orthodontist may recommend that you seek corrective treatment for these issues, such as braces or Invisalign. In cases of milder tooth misalignment, Invisalign is often preferred due to the comfort, convenience and ease of use over traditional braces. It consists of clear plastic aligners that can be removed to better facilitate regular brushing and flossing.
Feel The Clean
When you’re finished brushing, try moving your tongue along your teeth, especially the inner parts, to see if you’ve been thorough. If they still feel dirty, gently brush them a little more until you don’t notice any more plaque buildup. You may also want to consider using an antiseptic mouthwash regularly, as this helps to kill any decay-causing bacteria that are left over or lingering in unreachable areas.
If you’re experiencing difficulty from misaligned or crooked teeth, or if you would like to find out more about proper brushing habits, please contact our Nashville, TN orthodontist, Dr. Joel Gluck, today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.