Key tips to brushing your teeth for a healthy smile

You brush your teeth twice a day and floss before bed to keep your smile in top condition. But are you brushing with the correct technique or with the right toothbrush for you?

You can damage your teeth and gums from brushing too hard or by using the wrong brushing technique. You may even be using a toothbrush with bristles that are too stiff or coarse.

A dentist can help you create a personalized home oral care routine to protect your smile! Brushing and flossing the right way are an essential part of this routine.

Here are six tips to help you brush successfully.

Start with a professional cleaning.

Start with a visit to your dentist for a cleaning and exam. Your dentist can share tips on any individual needs you have to care for your teeth.

Use the right toothbrush.

Your dentist can recommend the right type of toothbrush for you but generally a soft-bristled brush is best. The key is replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or replacing your toothbrush head if using an electronic toothbrush.

Use fluoride toothpaste.

A fluoride toothpaste that’s approved by the American Dental Association is the best choice for adults. It can protect your teeth against decay. A pea-sized amount is just right. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water and spit out any remaining toothpaste when you’re done brushing.

Brush gently and thoroughly.

Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line and make small gentle circular motions. Be sure to brush all sides of each tooth. Use a back and forth motion on the tops and chewing surfaces, giving extra attention to any crevices where plaque and bacteria might be stuck.

Brush your tongue.

Brushing your tongue each time you brush your teeth can get rid of any plaque or bacteria buildup that ends up on your tongue while you brush.

Brush twice a day.

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. You should also clean between your teeth daily by flossing away any food particles and plaque that toothbrush bristles can’t reach.

A dental insurance plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas can help protect your smile with two cleanings and exams included each year. And should you need primary care like a filling or major care like a crown, our plans have coverage for that too. Plan options are available for seniors, individuals and families. Take a look.

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