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You probably already know many issues you can experience with your oral health. And like 36% of Americans who suffer from a fear of dental treatment, you might be afraid of these issues causing you to land in a dentist’s chair.

Though it’s still recommended — and necessary — to visit your dentist at least once a year to do what at-home oral health practices cannot, many issues can be avoided by brushing your teeth properly.

Here at Grace Dental Group, Woo Young Lee, DDS wants you to get the benefits only professional cleaning can provide. But he also works hard to ensure all patients understand the necessity of effective tooth brushing at home.

Proper tooth brushing technique 101

Are you unsure what effective tooth brushing even looks like? Were you among the many people who didn’t realize tooth brushing even had a proper technique? Let us help you master the basics before you ask why they’re necessary.

First off, you’re going to want to follow the ADHA’s proper brushing techniques. These include:

  • Brushing at a 45-degree angle, so your toothbrush touches the gum line and the tooth
  • Moving the bristles downward from the gum line across two or three teeth at a time
  • Maintaining these techniques while brushing across the tooth’s outer and inner surfaces
  • Tilting your brush at a vertical angle behind the top and bottom front teeth, brushing up and down
  • Brushing back and forth over the biting surfaces of the teeth as well as the tongue

We also recommend purchasing an electric toothbrush, brushing twice a day, replacing your toothbrush every three months, and using toothpaste with fluoride, which is included in most brands.

But what if you don’t worry about effective tooth brushing and do so whenever or however you feel like it? Unfortunately, you’re likely to experience many negative side effects ranging from mild to disastrous.

Five problems effective tooth brushing will help you avoid

1. Bad breath

Even if you do brush, you could potentially notice problems with bad breath if you don’t brush effectively. This is common for those who forget to brush their tongues, don’t brush their back teeth properly, or don’t brush as often as they should.

2. Cavities

Cavities occur when food particles, bacteria, and other bric-a-brac that collects in your mouth don’t get cleared away. While brushing properly can clear most of this stuff out, you might miss a spot, leading to a buildup of plaque and a cavity. However, cavities are completely avoidable if you brush the right way.

3. Abscesses

If bacteria can enter the tooth through a cavity or crack, it can infect the pulp inside, creating an abscess. This is another severe side effect of not consistently brushing away the particles that form plaque in your mouth.

4. Gum disease

Unfortunately, many people think that if their teeth are fine, their oral health is fine. But gum disease is a common effect of poor brushing techniques. If you catch it early, it can be treated effectively, but late-stage gum disease (called periodontitis) can cause serious, long-term side effects.

5. Problems elsewhere in the body

It may seem surprising, but there are many problems that can occur in other parts of your body than just the mouth if you don’t brush regularly or properly. For example, periodontitis can lead to kidney and respiratory disease, cancer, dementia, and other issues. While these issues may form for other reasons, you can always avoid increasing their potential to occur through good oral hygiene.

Make sure you’re brushing properly

It’s crucial to brush your teeth; you probably already know this. But brushing properly is absolutely essential to avoid the buildup of plaque that will still occur if you aren’t brushing effectively.

If you’d like to book an appointment in our San Francisco, CA office, call (415) 921-8867 or set one up online. We look forward to helping you properly care for your oral health!

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