Facts that will Alter the Way you Brush Teeth

kid brushing teeth

I know, I know. Of course, you know how to brush your teeth. I thought I knew it too. I brush. I floss. And, I use mouthwash. Pretty normal, right? Colgate, the world's most trusted brand in toothpaste, gave us mommy bloggers a “Colgate Healthy Smiles for Healthy Lives” quiz-off and checked how well we know how to properly brush our teeth and our little one's teeth, OMG! I was shocked to find out that after years and years, I am doing it the wrong way!

First off, what is your sequence in brushing teeth? Mine is rinse, floss, rinse, brush, rinse, mouthwash.   Engk. Wrong.

Correct Sequence in Brushing Teeth:

Rinse. Floss. Brush. Spit Foam. Stop.

Say, what? Yep, most Filipinos, I and my family included, rinse after tooth brushing. It turns out if we gargle water or mouthwash then spit out after brushing our teeth we are rinsing away the fluoride in the toothpaste. Fluoride, that needs to stay on our teeth, to protect it against cavities and tooth decay. We should allow at least 30 minutes to pass before we rinsing.

This revolution in brushing teeth takes some getting used to. When I first tried it, the whole process seemed incomplete. Like I didn't fully brush my teeth. Most of the time, out of habit I still rinse but in time I hope to be able to get it into my system.

Second, what angle do you use to brush your teeth?

right and wrong way of brushing teeth                                                             Wrong Angle                                                                                  Right Angle

Third, how do you brush your teeth? Before I used to brush my teeth using right to left motion for the sides of my inner teeth. Then I heard it should be circular, so I switched to circular. To properly brush your teeth tilt the brush at 45° angle against the gum-line and sweep or roll the brush away from the gum-line by using short strokes, gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using back and forth strokes. Then gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.  

Fourth, don't brush too hard. In short, wag kang galit sa toothbrush;-) When you brush too hard you are abrading the enamel from your teeth. Enamel is the outer covering of our teeth and protects our teeth from all the grinding, chewing and biting.

Fifth, brushing teeth after eating. Normally, we would brush right after eating. For most foods, bacteria starts attacking the enamel after 20 minutes of eating. However, for acidic foods like oranges or colas we should hold off brushing our teeth until after 30 minutes. Why? because acidic foods weaken our tooth enamel. And brushing too soon can damage the enamel in its weakened state. No wonder after eating green mangoes, my teeth are extra sensitive when I brush my teeth. Amazing discoveries for me from the team of Colgate dentists!

As for the kids, I asked the Colgate dental team if the recommendations of our dentist are really necessary. One is fluoride application for every dental visit. Colgate said it is indeed necessary because the fluoride content in toothpaste is not sufficient because they are still small. The fluoride application will cover insufficiencies in fluoride to ensure that our kids' milk teeth will last till their permanent teeth comes out. The milk teeth provide the foundation for the permanent teeth so we want to preserve it till the permanent teeth comes in.

As for sealants, whose price tag can leave a huge dent in the bank account, it is recommended to protect the teeth from cavities. However, if your child has good oral care habits, sealants may not be necessary at all.

Now, that is a whole lot of useful oral care information to keep us flashing our healthy smile for a century! Healthy lives start with healthy smiles.kid brushing teeth

For more information about proper oral health care, visit the Oral Health Center, www.Colgate.ph.

Disclosure: Thanks to Colgate for inviting TheGoMom to the very informative quiz off at SEDA. And a big thanks for sponsoring this post.

Smile!

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