While it may be difficult to criticize anyone who is conscientious in his or her brushing and flossing habits, some people exert too much force (up to a pound of pressure) on their teeth and gums with their toothbrushes, which can erode enamel and damage gums. According to research, brushing for about two minutes with about five ounces of pressure proves adequate in removing plaque. To gauge five ounces of pressure, push down with your hand on a kitchen portion scale. If you use an electric toothbrush, even less pressure may necessary, owing to the effectiveness of the high-speed brushing action. The dentist can detect signs of heavy brushing if there is a question.
Brushing may take the lead in the fight against food and plaque build-up—the main causes of decay and gum disease—but it is important to do it correctly for maximum results. Your family dentist can show you the most effective way to brush and floss your teeth. Remember, a sure investment in your future is a visit to your dentist today. This column is brought to you in the interest of better dental health by NINE WEST MAIN DENTAL, 9 West Main St., West Brookfield. Phone:508.867.2777.
P.S. Because the bacteria-laden, sticky film known as “plaque” regenerates on teeth every 24 hours, daily brushing and flossing are critical.