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We are often told that we need to brush our teeth twice a day, for two minutes. Here are a few tips and tricks to get the best possible clean. Make those minutes count!

Toothbrushes are designed to be used for only a few months–then, thrown away. This means that if your toothbrush is more than three to four months old, it’s time to replace it.

When you shop for a toothbrush, pick one that has very soft bristles and has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal indicates that the product has been rigorously tested for both safety and effectiveness. Medium- or stiff-bristled brushes can damage your teeth and gums, opening them up for disease, erosion, and infection.

When you brush your teeth it is important to use the proper technique. This facilitates a thorough clean, while avoiding damaging your teeth and gums.

Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums. Use gentle pressure and short, back-and-forth strokes to scrub away plaque and debris. If you use harsh pressure, you can damage your enamel and gum tissues. Your teeth may look tough–and they are quite durable–but the hard outer layer is sensitive to abrasion, especially after eating.

Use only a small amount of toothpaste–no need for the inch-long squeeze you see in commercials. A dollop a little larger than the size of a pea will do. Fluoride toothpaste is best in most cases.

Make sure to accompany your brushing habit with a regular flossing habit. Flossing removes plaque from areas of your mouth that your toothbrush cannot reach, such as in between teeth and behind the back molars. This is vital for preventing cavities and gum disease.

For more information or to set an appointment, call Darden DDS in Glendora, California, at 626.963.6006. Drs. Ronald and Bryce Darden look forward to seeing you!