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Brushing your teeth correctly is the foundation of good oral health. Since you have been brushing your teeth for years, you probably figure that you have the routine down. While most people have a good idea of basic brushing, but the process is a bit more involved than that.

First, you need the right tool for the right job. In this case, we’re talking about your toothbrush. You should replace your toothbrush every three months. If the bristles are worn or flattened, it is time for a new one. When buying a toothbrush, look for one that has soft bristles and a head that is small enough to reach every part of your mouth.

It takes two minutes to effectively brush your teeth. Try timing yourself the next time you brush your teeth to see if you are taking enough time. While it is easy to remember to clean the fronts of your teeth, don’t forget the backs and the chewing and biting surfaces. Brush at least twice a day. If you want to brush after every meal, wait for 30 minutes after eating. That will give saliva in your mouth time to wash away the acids left in your mouth from your food.

When you are done, rinse the bristles until they are clear of food debris. Microwaving your toothbrush or running it through the dishwasher can damage the bristles. If you want to soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial solution, do so for no longer than 15 minutes.

Store your toothbrush upright in a place where the air can continuously dry it. If you keep your toothbrush covered, bacteria can grow on the bristles. Toothbrushes should be stored away from one another to prevent the cross contamination of bacteria from one person to another.

If you have questions about proper oral hygiene, if it is just time for your regular cleaning and exam, or if you are looking for a family dentist, Dr. Kevin Park would love to talk with you! To make an appointment at Park Dental of Edmonds & Snohomish in Snohomish, Washington, call 360-568-2153. We look forward to meeting you!