DO THESE THE NEXT TIME YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH.

  • Spend at least 2 minutes brushing. This is the minimum time needed to allow for the required contact of the tooth paste with the teeth & the mouth. Don’t just rush; take care of details. Brushing deserves your attention as it determines how your teeth look and how your mouth smells, and prevent holes and infections of the teeth.
  • Don’t forget to remember the parts people forget. Brush all the corners of those hard-to-reach sets of teeth at the back. Remember the inner surfaces of the teeth especially the parts in contact with the tongue. Remember to brush the tongue properly in order to prevent bad breath.
  • Be gently with the brushing, yet firm! Don’t be too vigorous, yet make sure you are thorough and deliberate with the whole process. A toothbrush that is too hard may damage the teeth and hurt the gums; and one that is too soft may not do a very good job.
  • Rinse the mouth thoroughly. Make sure most of the toothpaste (especially at the corners) are washed off after brushing. This is to make sure germs and debris are washed away. Also learn to, at least, rinse your mouth after every meal (especially sugary and starchy foods) in order to prevent acids (that cause holes) from forming.
  • Rinse and dry the toothbrush properly. After brushing, wash the brush properly because the bristles can collect germs; and dry it properly or else it will become a breeding ground for germs. Change old, worn-out tooth brushes; ideally, every tooth brush should be changed every 3-4 months.
  • Repeat the process before you go to bed. It is best to also brush before sleeping to prevent holes in the teeth and gum disease, and ensure a fresher breath. Generally, toothpastes with fluoride are better than those without fluoride.

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Dr. 'Malik Haruna King is a practicing Nigerian Medical Doctor and Sex Therapist. He helps people with sensitive health issues find answers to questions they are too ashamed to ask!