The Importance of Brushing Teeth

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Brushing our teeth may not be the most fun activity in the world, but rest assured it can help keep your mouth healthy so that you can do the fun things you enjoy in life. Brushing is a crucial part of a good oral hygiene routine, as it helps remove bacteria and food particles from the mouth that can cause harm to your teeth.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft-bristled brush. It is also recommended to change to a new toothbrush every three or four months, or even sooner if the bristles become worn out or after being sick. When brushing, angle your brush at a 45-degree angle toward the gums to remove bacterial plaque from the gumline. In addition, make gentle strokes back and forth across all the surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.

When searching for a new toothpaste, aim to get an ADA accepted toothpaste containing dental fluoride, which helps fight against cavities.

If proper brushing does not take place, a whole host of issues can arise, including:

1. Cavities

One of the most common dental issues that results because of not brushing is tooth decay, also referred to as dental cavities. As oral bacteria feast off the foods we consume, they release acids that break down your tooth enamel when not adequately removed. If not treated, the decay can progress toward the nerve inside the tooth causing pain and the potential need for a root canal or additional treatment. If the decay is extensive, the tooth may need to be extracted.

2. Bad Breath

A lack of brushing your teeth can lead to bad breath, which can be unpleasant for both you and others. This is a result of the harmful bacteria which produce smells as they release acids.

3. Gum Disease

No one wants to hear that they have gum disease, but it can be prevented! One of the best methods to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. Early gum disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Overtime if bacterial plaque continues to build up on the teeth, these symptoms will progress to a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontal disease, which can cause tooth sensitivity, bone loss, and in severe cases even tooth loss. This inflammatory disease can also spread and contribute to other systemic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Do your best not to skip the important task of tooth brushing twice a day, your teeth will thank you in the long run! In addition to brushing your teeth, it is essential to floss regularly, have a balanced diet that limits sugary foods and beverages, and visit your dentist regularly to helps reduce bacterial plaque that leads to tooth decay, gum disease, and additional oral and health issues.