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Plaque build-up, caused by bacteria left in the mouth, can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Daily mouth care is one of the simplest steps you can take to maintain healthy teeth and gums at any age—starting with brushing at least twice a day.
Whether using an electric or a manual toothbrush you want to ensure you have the proper brushing technique. A few things to consider:
Brush longer, not harder. Brushing too hard can damage your enamel. Brush for at least two minutes using a soft toothbrush.
Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps to strengthen the tooth's enamel. You only need a small amount (about the size of a pea).
Brush after breakfast in the morning and especially before bed. Your salivary flow decreases while you sleep putting you at greater risk for decay.
Replace your toothbrush every three months, after a cold or illness, or when the bristles lose shape.
Brush all surfaces of your teeth and don't forget to clean your tongue. Many toothbrushes today have a tongue cleaner.
Don't share your toothbrush - bacteria can transfer from one mouth to another.
Avoid brushing immediately after eating acidic foods or drinks. The acid can remain on the enamel and you end up brushing away the enamel.
Ask your dentist how well you're brushing and for more tips for better dental health.
Don't forget to floss