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Since you have been a kid, brushing your teeth is something that you have done over and over again. You have heard the need to brush your teeth from your dentist and from your parents or other caregivers. You’ve brushed your teeth so many times that it’s become second nature, and there is nothing left to learn. You may be surprised that you may be missing a few things when it comes to taking care of your teeth.

For example, if your toothbrush is three months old or more, or if the bristles have become worn or flattened, it is time to get a new toothbrush. Your toothbrush was never meant to be a family heirloom to pass on to your children. Speaking of children, they often brush more aggressively than adults, so their toothbrushes may need to be replaced more often.

You should brush your teeth twice a day at the very least. Brushing after a meal or snack is a good idea, but remember to wait for 30 minutes to give your saliva time to rinse away the acids left by your food or drinks. Brush your teeth for two minutes. Most adults don’t spend that much time on brushing, so you may want to time yourself, and for that matter your kids, until it becomes a habit.

Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth, and brush the fronts, backs and chewing surfaces of your teeth. To reach the insides of your front teeth, hold your toothbrush vertically and use short up-and-down strokes. Don’t forget to clean your tongue since it is the home of the bacteria that cause bad breath. Using your toothbrush, or tongue brush, start at the back of your tongue and scrub your way to the front. You may also want to talk with your dentist about using a tongue scraper.

If you have questions about oral hygiene, or if you are looking for a family dentist, our dentists, Dr. John Felkner, and Dr. Oliver Keefer would be happy to meet you. If you live in the Wittenberg, Wisconsin, area, call 715-253-3200 for an appointment today.