ADVICE & TIPS
All the benefits of the toothpaste depend on how long it's on your teeth. Fluoride, which helps to strengthen our enamel, generally takes at least 2 minutes to be fully effective. And, same goes for the properties in whitening toothpaste and toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.
If you are only brushing for 30 seconds to 1 minute, you're probably not getting the full benefits of fluoride, whitening power (peroxides), or sensitivity relief (potassium nitrate). Don't rush the brush for this reason.
There are numerous kinds of toothpaste available. Use a toothpaste you like for the flavor and texture, then your more likely to brush longer. My everyday toothpaste choice is Crest 3D White Brilliance. I enjoy the stronger mint flavor and dissolving polishing crystals it contains.
My favorite whitening toothpaste is AP-24 by Nu Skin Pharmanex. A few times a year, I will order in bulk and have available on my website. AP-24 toothpaste does an amazing job of brightening and lightening your teeth with no harsh ingredients or abrasiveness. If I feel I need an extra whitening boost, this is what I use.
Toothpaste abrasiveness is measured by the RDA (Radioactive Dentin Abrasion). This scale starts at 0 and is open-ended. Any product that falls below 250 is considered safe for everyday use. The RDA value of AP-24 is between 70-80, which is considered very mild. And, it's safe and gentle even kids can use it! The vanilla mint flavor is pretty amazing, too!! No appointment needed. No change in your routine. Whiter teeth with zero sensitivity. Just brush!
If your on a budget, a safe alternative to cleaning and lightening your teeth, is plain baking soda. Baking soda has an RDA of only 7, super enamel friendly, and can deliver great results, if you can tolerate the taste.
Whatever toothpaste you choose or prefer, spread your toothpaste all over your teeth and tongue,
then begin brushing. Remember the 2 MINUTES recommended "brushing time" is not the act of brushing necessarily, it's the time the toothpaste needs to be on your teeth to be fully effective. Put the toothpaste on your teeth & tongue and let it sit for minute, then brush. The goal is, 2 minutes, twice a day!
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Brush your teeth in the same pattern, everytime
My best advice is to pay attention to what you're doing when you brush, so you're not missing surfaces. While washing your face, you would feel or notice a bump right away, but often times a trouble spot in your mouth will go unnoticed for a long time until a symptom arrives. At this point, it doesn't matter how long the toothpaste has been in your mouth working, if your not removing the bacteria causing the problems.
The most common area for gum recession from aggressive brushing is generally on the canines and premolars. This tends to be the first stroke when people brush and hardest hit, so begin in the back and come forward.
Start with the top teeth and end with the bottom.
Start on the outside of your upper right molars (or farthest tooth back). The brush should be angled so the longer bristles are touching the gums and the FitsBrush's orange row is reaching the biting surface. Continue with short, overlapping strokes until you reach the opposite side or left molars. Try to keep the toothbrush in contact with the teeth and gums at all times. Avoid taking it in and out of the mouth.
Now, rotate your bristles to the inside (longer bristles reach the gums and orange row toward the biting surface) and brush the insides of your top teeth in the same pattern...left molar to right molar. For the inside of the front teeth, you'll have to angle the handle vertically and brush up and down. And now the biting surface. Concentrate the FitsBrush's orange row of bristles on the chewing surface on the top teeth and give them a good scrub. Chewing sugar-free gum will also help clean the pits and grooves throughout the day.
You are now ready to complete the bottom teeth in the same pattern as the top. It's a good thing your bottom teeth already have the concentrated toothpaste working on 'em! Remember, you should not be taking the toothbrush in and out, bottom to top, top to bottom. Re-train yourself to not jump around and use this pattern every time you brush. I complete this cycle 4-5 times (up to 2 minutes), each time I brush. Do this and you will have amazing results!
Then last, but not least....brush your tongue. The same bacteria that sticks to your teeth, sticks to your tongue. Try to brush back as far as you can (I gag everytime) to clean your circumvallate tastebuds, where alot of bacteria gets hung up. Stick your tongue out, you'll see them. Tongue scrapers work great, too. Most people who don't generally brush their tongue, have bad breath. Wanna keep your friends, scrub your tongue!
HOW OFTEN ARE YOU FLOSSING?
I get it. Flossing is a pain. Most people don't do it or do it very seldom I'm here to tell you, flossing is extremely important. Often times we cannot see if a cavity is forming between the teeth without taking
x-rays, especially the back teeth.
Not only does floss help remove the harmful bacteria from the enamel between the teeth, it also removes the bacteria below the gums and prevents gingivitis. Gingivitis, left untreated, can progress to periodontal disease. To reduce your risk, practice optimal oral hygiene, which includes flossing daily.
I feel it is best to floss at night, after brushing. Going to bed with a clean mouth is super important. Like I explain to the kiddos at the schools; your mouth is like an incubator, hot and moist. Bacteria thrive in that environment and cause the most damage to our teeth and gums.
If your not a flosser, start with one day a week. Begin to form a habit. Then eventually add another day, then another, etc. The goal is to floss once daily.
I use and recommend a waxed floss (Reach) vs. a tape like floss (Glide). Clinically, I have seen a difference in bacteria removal with a thicker, waxed floss. The waxed floss is actually about 10 pieces of floss woven together and expands open. Waxed floss is not slippery, so it grips the tooth, thus allows the plaque and bacteria to be removed and rarely shreds. If the floss is easily gliding between your teeth, it may be able to remove a piece of meat, but probably isn't effectively removing the sticky plaque that causes most problems.
What about the floss picks?
The advantages to the floss picks is they are easy to handle and less fuss, making it a whole lot simpler to floss your teeth; especially all the way in the back. But, because the pick has a straight piece of floss, it can clean the contact point of where two teeth are touching, but often times inhibits it from reaching far enough below the gums to prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Traditional floss has the flexibility to conform, bend, and wrap so you can effectively clean around the curves of the teeth and throughly clean below the gums. But, floss picks are better than not flossing at all.
When you floss, you are stirring up and dislodging tons of bacteria. You do not want to swallow them. Always rinse your mouth out with water afterwards, or swish with a mouth wash, if your prefer.