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Brushing your teeth is a fundamental part of taking care of your mouth. But it’s easy to let the habit become mindless, leaving us with ineffective practices and, eventually, damage to our teeth. Here are a few points to brush up on.

Remember that toothbrushes need to be replaced every 3-4 months–sooner, if they look worn or frayed, or if they have been contaminated. Never use your toothbrush for anything other than brushing your own teeth, and NEVER share toothbrushes with someone else. Doing these things will contaminate the toothbrush and lead to damaging bacteria spreading throughout your mouth.

On that note, be careful how you store your toothbrush. Always store it in open air, in an upright position, away from other toothbrushes. Storing it in a closed environment will promote bacterial growth, and touching other toothbrush heads will spread that bacteria from toothbrush to toothbrush.

Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. If you are just getting back in the habit, try playing a favorite song, or setting a timer. The habit gets easier with regular practice, and the payoff is huge! Consistent brushing is a key healthy oral hygiene practice. To brush best, place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gum, and make short, back-and-forth strokes, about tooth-wide. Be sure to brush the outer surface, the inner surface, and the chewing surface of all your teeth! To clean the inner surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush at a steep angle vertically and use multiple up-and-down strokes.

Remember to schedule your biannual cleanings to support your healthy brushing habits! To schedule an appointment in Foothill Ranch, California, call Aria Irvani DDS at 949-458-5858. Dr. Aria Irvani and our team look forward to keeping your smile bright!