Fact or Fiction: Is Just Brushing My Teeth Enough?

Monday, April 17, 2023
Fact or Fiction: Is Just Brushing My Teeth Enough?

Dental experts recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. But you may wonder, “Is just brushing my teeth enough to keep my teeth healthy? What about flossing? Or mouthwash? Is there anything else I should do?”

Penn Dental Medicine separates fact from fiction about how to keep not just your teeth but your whole mouth healthy, with some information for you to sink your teeth into.

Is It Enough to Just Brush Your Teeth? PDM Has the Facts

Dental floss, a toothbrush with striped toothpaste, and a toothpaste tube illustrate the need for great oral health.Brushing your teeth is only the first step toward good dental health. It helps remove plaque, the enemy of good dental health, and that’s important. Plaque is the sticky film that forms on teeth when saliva and leftover food particles mix with bacteria in your mouth. When plaque builds up, it turns into tartar after several days.

Tartar forms underneath and at the gum line and can cause swollen gums that bleed easily. Tartar also discolors with yellowish stains. Once plaque turns into tartar, it can eat away at the enamel on your teeth and can cause gum disease, cavities, and even tooth loss. Unfortunately, at this point, tartar is not easily removed from teeth. It needs to be scraped off by a dental professional.

Brushing your teeth can help keep plaque from building up and turning into tartar—to a point. But most people don’t brush for two minutes each time. Instead, the average time is only 45-70 seconds per day. In addition, brushing your teeth doesn’t reach the plaque that accumulates between teeth and causes damage. So what are your options to safeguard your teeth and give you great oral health? It all comes down to knowing how to clean your mouth.

7 Fast Facts About Achieving Good Dental Health

A PDM dentist wears a protective mask and cap as she gets ready to talk to a patient about the importance of flossing. 1. Follow the 2/2 rule.

As mentioned earlier, start with brushing your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Change toothbrushes out every three to four months or when they show signs of wear or fraying.
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and carefully brush all surfaces (inner, outer, and chewing surfaces), including the inner surfaces of the front teeth.
  • Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque. Which kind you use is your personal preference.

2. Floss once a day to clean those hard-to-reach areas between teeth.

The importance of flossing can’t be overstated because it removes the plaque that your brush can’t reach.

  • It doesn’t matter when you floss, as long as you do it, but it probably works best to make it part of your morning or evening routine.
  • If you’re not sure how to floss or wonder if you’re doing it correctly, talk to your dental hygienist at your next visit. They will be happy to assist you.
  • Some people have trouble flossing if their teeth are close together, or they find it hard to floss their back teeth or even have a gag reflex. However, they find floss picks helpful.
  • Many people enjoy using a water flosser (such as a Waterpik) that directs a stream of water between teeth to remove debris.

A young dad carries his daughter on his shoulder and they are smiling because they have great oral health.3. Use antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing.

4. Drink water. Water isn’t just good for keeping you hydrated—it also flushes away food particles and can help keep teeth clean between brushing.

5. Stay away from sugary snacks. These convert to acid in your mouth and can wear away at the enamel on your teeth.

6. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables that help remove plaque buildup.

7. Visit your dentist twice a year. You should have a cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar buildup and an exam t make sure your teeth and gums are in good shape.

Schedule Your Visit to Penn Dental Medicine Today

So, “Is it enough just brushing my teeth?” Well, it’s a good start. But the fact is, you need to do more—and we can help. Your smile is in good hands at Penn Dental Medicine. We’ve offered high-quality, affordably priced dental care to our Philadelphia neighbors for over 150 years through our unique faculty-student arrangement. It gives you access to the best current and future dentists in the area.

We’ll make sure that you’re on the right path to great oral health through our cleanings and exams, and that you know exactly what you need to do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

To schedule your appointment, just call our office at 215-898-8965. Then, take a moment to download our evidence-based checklist for what makes Penn Dental Medicine statistically unique. It’s the perfect resource to explain everything you want to know about us before your visit.

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