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For many of us, brushing our teeth is practically second nature, so much so that we might not be paying attention to what we do. As a result, we may not be brushing correctly. That may not make any sense at first, but let’s take a moment to consider what goes into properly brushing your teeth.

First, how long have you had your toothbrush? If it has become an old friend, you may want to ask yourself just how old of a friend it is. If you have had it longer than three months, it is time to get rid of it. You should replace your toothbrush when the bristles become worn or flattened, and you should definitely replace it after three months, no matter what condition it is in. Kids tend to be a bit harder on toothbrushes, so consider replacing theirs a little more often.

When brushing, you should hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and brush in short strokes, away from your gumline. It is easy to remember to brush the fronts of your teeth, but you should also brush the backs and the chewing and biting surfaces. Your tongue contains bacteria that will cause bad breath, so you should brush that as well, starting at the back of the tongue, working your way to the front.

How much time do you take brushing your teeth? One pass with the toothbrush will not get the job done. To effectively clean your teeth, you should spend at least two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night. If you aren’t sure if you are spending enough time brushing, try timing yourself. You may be surprised at how little time you are really spending.

If you would like to find out more about the best ways to take care of your teeth, our dentist, Dr. Robert J. Luszczak will be happy to meet you. If you live in the Granada Hills, California, area, you can call 818-363-7484 to make an appointment at White Oak Family Dentistry.