The Importance of Brushing Your Teeth

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes 


Little things are important. Over time, little things become big things. And whether you want those seemingly little things to have importance or not, they will literally just take their importance by making themselves impossible to ignore.


A tiny drop of food coloring changes the color of an entire pitcher of milk. A little bit of yeast affects every bit of the dough. It spreads. A tiny bit of something affects everything it contacts.

Man changing tire on a old car

 

A small car repair left unchecked turns into a giant, necessary repair that costs thousands of dollars. Little things become big things are indeed important.


The same is absolutely true when it comes to your teeth. If you only brush your teeth a minimal amount with minimal effort, you will get exactly what you worked for—minimal tooth health. 


Brushing your teeth is not optional if you want to keep your mouth healthy. It is a must.


So, what is the point of brushing your teeth? Where do I begin? There are so many valid reasons to brush your teeth. 


The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice per day. Use a fluoride toothpaste that has been approved by the ADA.  


Why is brushing twice a day so important?


Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice every single day. There are several reasons why it makes sense to do it at last twice.


  1. Prevent Gum Disease: Brushing your teeth removes plaque. Plaque is the nasty, sticky buildup that makes your teeth feel as if they are wearing tiny sweaters. If only it was a mini tooth sweater … but alas, it is bacteria. You must brush that stuff away to avoid gingivitis! Gingivitis is typically the first stage of gum disease. The gums become inflamed and bleed when you brush them.

  1. Remove Stains from Teeth: Toothpaste is made up of mild abrasives that gently remove plaque, leftover food particles, and surface stains. These mild abrasives are usually magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, phosphate salts, and silicates.

  1. Freshen Your Breath: Not only does bacteria accumulation in your mouth lead to plaque buildup and gingivitis but it also causes nasty breath. 

  1. Save Money in the Long Run: Brushing your teeth twice daily is an easy form of preventative care. Brushing regularly may save you on future dental issues such as cavities and gum disease, both of which require professional treatment.

  1. Reduce Risk of Stroke or Heart Attack: It is believed that the bacteria accumulated in the mouth can progress through the bloodstream, eventually increasing the chances of cholesterol building up in arteries. Due to this fact, the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke increases.

  1. A Healthy Baby: It has been shown that gum disease may increase the possibility of low birth weight or premature birth. The bacteria buildup that occurs from a lack of brushing may travel from the mother’s bloodstream to the bloodstream of her baby. Gum disease is supposed to be a possible cause for impotence or delayed conception. 

  1. Dementia Prevention: It has been reported that failing to care for your gums may very well increase your chances of developing dementia.

  1. Pleasant kisses: Please, save your kissing partner from your garbage mouth. Get rid of bad breath germs by removing them regularly. Brush your teeth. 

Now you know several great reasons to brush your teeth twice a day—better breath, better health, and last but not least, better kisses. 


Next, it’s important for you to know the proper way to brush your teeth for optimum oral health.


What is the correct way to brush your teeth?

 

Follow these simple steps to properly brush your teeth.

  1. Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  2. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, aiming it towards the gum line. 
  3. Brush in tiny circular motions on the outer surface of each individual tooth.
  4. Repeat the brushing on the inside surfaces of the teeth.
  5. Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with a gentle back and forth motion.
  6. Brush your tongue.
  7. Spit out all of the toothpaste after you’ve completed your brushing.*

*There is no need to rinse. You can leave the remaining residue of your fluoridated toothpaste in your mouth as a means to protect against cavities and decay.


Tips and Tricks of the Trade


If you’re going to brush, it’s best to follow professional advice and use the right tools to get the job done well. 

 

dentist consulting with a patient

 

Pick the Right Toothbrush

It’s all about the toothbrush. It’s very important that you pick the right one for your mouth.

A small to medium brush head with soft, round-ended nylon bristles are the best choice for most adults. The size of the brush head is dependent on the size of your mouth. The toothbrush head must be the right size to fit into all the areas of your mouth.

Keep the bristles on the soft side, otherwise they will be too abrasive and damage your enamel. Do not choose a toothbrush that will actually harm your teeth.

For your kiddos, be sure to use a child-sized toothbrush. They have a shorter handle, tiny head, and extra soft bristles. Plus, kids’ toothbrushes have all of the cool cartoon characters. Can’t beat that!

There are even special toothbrushes for people who have irregularly-shaped teeth, extra sensitive teeth, or who have poor dexterity and motor control, making it difficult to hold a toothbrush. Always be sure to check with your dentist if you think you need a specific toothbrush.


electric toothbrush

Speaking of special toothbrushes, we cannot forget to mention electric toothbrushes. These toothbrushes do a lot of the work for you with two heads that rotate simultaneously in opposite directions. They have been proven to remove plaque more effectively than manual brushing. The great news is that anybody can use an electric toothbrush.

Teach the Children Well


If you have experienced the joys of teaching a young child to brush his teeth, then we both know what happened. You gently explain. Then you add a tiny bit of toothpaste. You begin to brush those tiny teeth. And, you repeat over and over …


“Don’t swallow the toothpaste!”

“No. You can’t eat it.”

“Please. STOP SWALLOWING THE TOOTHPASTE!!”


It is a bit of a challenge to keep your child from ingesting copious amounts of toothpaste. So why not take that precious child to a qualified professional? Yep. Teach them young to like the dentist and hygienist, while having another adult give them specific instruction on proper brushing.


Here are a few things you may try at home:


  • Be their buddy. Guide their little hands as they are learning to brush. 
  • Brush your teeth alongside them. Practice what you preach and show them the right way to brush.
  • Use “pointer” pills. These are chewable pills that combine with the saliva in your mouth, causing plaque to become a different color. Now, your little people can see every spot that the plaque must be brushed away and removed.

Caring for Invisalign and Braces Properly

Woman with black tank top smiling while holding a popsicle

If you have any orthodontia, you already know that the orthodontist gives very specific instructions for your oral care.


When you have standard braces, you must meticulously brush each bracket in addition to brushing the individual tooth surfaces. First, swish with water and loosen any stuck on food. Be sure to brush along the gum line, cleaning the tooth surface in between the bracket and the gums. 


Do not forget the rest of the tooth surface. Every exposed area of the tooth must be cleaned. Mosts orthodontists provide a tiny spiral brush to clean all around the brackets and wires. Yes, this adds to the time for brushing. Many young people fail to brush long enough to truly clean the braces and all tooth surfaces.


If you have chosen clear aligners, you will brush and floss your teeth as normal. First you’ll need to take out your aligners. Next, you can begin your oral hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Then, put the aligners back into your mouth. 


If it concerns you that you may harm your enamel by brushing so quickly after eating, use a very soft-bristled brush and perform your brushing carefully and gently. 

Cleaning Dentures

Dentures sitting out on table with glasses behind them

If you have dentures, then you know they are entirely different from natural teeth. This means they must be cleaned in a completely different manner.


Dentures must be cleaned with the same frequency as our natural teeth, but they require different tools and treatments. A denture brush and denture cleaner provide the best cleaning option. 


Rinse your dentures well and then gently brush the entire surface of the false teeth. If you brush with too much force, you will damage them. 


You will need to care for your gums and tongue with regular fluoride toothpaste. Brush the entire surface of your gums and tongue. If you have any remaining natural teeth, you must brush those as well. Lastly, rinse with water or mouthwash.


No matter what kind of teeth are in your mouth, they need to be brushed. And the absolutely must be brushed regularly. 


It is well established that excellent dental hygiene helps with the appearance of our teeth and with the overall health of our mouth. If you choose to neglect your teeth and fail to brush regularly, you will pay for it. You will pay with your health and you will pay financially. 


Let’s recap all of the main reasons why brushing is so important.


  1. Prevent Plaque Accumulation. Allowing plaque to go unchecked in your mouth is a big no-no. Food that remains on your teeth for too long causes bacteria in your mouth to react with it and form plaque. Plaque is bad news. It damages the enamel and gums and leads to other more serious issues. This is easily preventable by brushing twice a day.
  2. Reduce Bad Breath. This is obviously not detrimental to your health. However, your relationships with people who have healthy olfactory receptors (which is nearly every person on the planet) will most certainly suffer. You will not need to ask others to socially distance. Everyone will do it naturally. If you prefer to be alone, bad breath is your ticket to solitude.
  3. Put a stop to cavities, tooth decay, infections, and gum disease. If you consistently brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, you will reduce your risk of cavities, infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. Tooth abscesses can form after neglecting your teeth for only a few days. Make it a habit to brush twice a day for two minutes.

Now you know exactly why a simple little thing like brushing your teeth is incredibly important. If you want to keep the natural teeth you have and avoid health problems, pay attention to your teeth.