Illustration by Ileana Soon

Tips for top dental health. 

According to the ADA—otherwise known as the American Dental Association—even people who are well-acquainted with a toothbrush make common mistakes when it comes to dental hygiene. Take these steps to achieve maximum dental health: 

1. Brush for at least two minutes each time in order to effectively remove food, plaque, and bacteria from the surface of your teeth. 

2. Wait at least 30-60 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth to prevent tooth enamel damage.

3. Store your toothbrush upright, not horizontally, where it is much more susceptible to accelerated bacteria growth.

4. As toothbrushes get older, their bristles lose their rigidity and stop cleaning your teeth effectively. Replace your every few months.

5. Gently brush your teeth, don’t attack them. Brushing too hard can cause damage to the enamel layer of your teeth and can also cause receding gums. 

6. Opt for soft-bristled brushes. Hard-bristles can damage tooth enamel.

7. Floss, floss, floss, and don’t think you can substitute mouthwash for flossing. And remember, brushing alone doesn’t remove everything, especially particles that tend to nestle between your teeth.

8. Lay off the sugar, which tends to provide fuel to bacteria and accelerate tooth decay.

9. Don’t wait for an emergency to see your dentist. 

This article originally appeared in the June 2024 issue. 

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