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You May Have Been Brushing Your Teeth the Wrong Way This W

Tooth or Consequences

When brushing your teeth, have you ever wondered to yourself, “Am I doing this right?” Probably not. But you should. Have no fear, though, because we’ve got the inside scoop on cleaning the inside of your mouth.

Size Matters

First off, you need the proper toothbrush. The size of your toothbrush should correlate to the size of your mouth. “If you are straining to open wide enough to let the brush in, the brush is probably too big,” said Richard H. Price, DMD, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association.

Give It Time

Time is key here. Dentists recommend you brush at least twice a day, up to two minutes. It’s important that you don’t overdo it, as brushing too long will cause plaque to “build up and boost your chances of sore gums and other problems,” according to WebMD.

45 Degrees

Now that you have the right tool and the right amount of time in mind, let’s incorporate the correct technique. According to Oral-B, there are five steps to cleaning your teeth. Step one involves starting with the inside and outside surfaces of the teeth. “Brush at a 45-degree angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes against the gum line.”

Brush With Greatness

Next, you’ll work the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Hold the toothbrush even against the teeth and move it in a forward and backward motion. Make sure to get both sides, top and bottom.

Vertical Horizons

For your front teeth, you’ll want to “brush vertically and use gentle up-and-down strokes with the tip of brush.”

The Gum of All Fears

Don’t forget your gum line. It also needs to be brushed, though gently. According to WebMD, “Wide, side-to-side strokes can cause scrapes along your gum line,” as well as drawing blood.

Tongues Out

Lastly, you’ll want to brush your tongue. Moving from the back of the tongue to the tip, use a “sweeping motion to remove food particles and help remove odor-causing bacteria to freshen your breath.”

Glowing Grin

Now you know the proper way to clean your teeth. Be sure to floss and use mouthwash, and also replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Follow these helpful tips and your smile will shine as bright as the sun.

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