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Brushing your teeth may seem like a no-brainer. A little paste on the brush, a quick scrubbing of your teeth, and you’re on you way to work or off to bed, right?

Not exactly.

Granted, brushing your teeth is not the most complicated thing you will do all day, however, it does take a little effort make certain that you are doing the job well.

First, let’s make sure that you have a good toothbrush. The head of the brush should be small enough that it can reach every part of your mouth. The bristles should be soft, but not bent, worn or flattened. Your average toothbrush has a useful lifespan of three months. Children tend to brush a little more aggressively than adults, so their toothbrushes may wear out faster.

Second, how long are you spending brushing your teeth? To do a good job, it takes about two minutes. Most people don’t spend nearly that amount of time brushing, so try timing yourself to see if you are brushing long enough. While it is easy to brush the fronts of your teeth, you should also brush the backs and the chewing and biting surfaces. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, since it can harbor bacteria that cause bad breath Start by brushing at the back of your tongue and work your way forward. You should brush at least twice a day, and if you want to brush after each meal, you should wait approximately 30 minutes after eating to give your saliva the chance to wash away the acids left by your food.

Brushing and flossing are important parts of your oral hygiene routine. However, they are not replacements for visiting your dentist every six months. During your routine appointment, your dentist will remove the plaque and tartar that you may have missed while brushing; and will check your teeth and gums for any potential problems.

If you are having problems with your teeth, or if it is time for your regular dental visit, our dentist, Dr. Glenn Ong-Veloso would love to see you. If you would like to make an appointment at Glenn Dental, in Apple Valley, California, call 760-284-3060. We’re looking forward to your visit!