Having a bad day? Many psychologists argue that smiling can help change your attitude. If grey clouds have been trailing you all day, feigning a smile can trick your brain into releasing endorphins that make you feel happy. This is called “the facial feedback” hypothesis, the belief that emotional experiences may be influenced by our facial movements.
Clearly, our pearly whites do more than just chew food. Given the importance of teeth, it’s no surprise that we must do all we can to keep them clean and healthy. Here are some reasons to brush and tips regarding proper tooth brushing techniques:
Benefits of Brushing
From an early age, most of us are educated to brush and floss. For many, it is a twice-daily routine. If you find brushing your teeth to be a chore you’d rather skip, think again. Here are some benefits you can receive from regular dental hygiene:
1. Save money. Failing to brush your teeth and floss regularly may lead to a series of dental issues that can be painful and costly. Avoid that discomfort by taking care of your teeth.
2. Increase confidence. It’s been proven that a smile can help make a positive impression when meeting someone for the first time. Fresh breath is also a plus amongst employers, coworkers, and family members.
3. Reduce heart disease risk. Inflammation in the body, including in the mouth and gums, can contribute to clogged arteries.
4. Possible resistance to dementia. A 2007 study showed a correlation between good oral hygiene and prevention of dementia. The hope is that the better your dental practices are, the less likely you may be to develop dementia.
Proper Teeth Brushing Technique
It should take at least two minutes to adequately clean your teeth. Many people quickly scrub and rinse in under a minute. To give teeth the care and maintenance they need, use the techniques recommended by dental professionals:
- Place bristles at a 45-degree angle on your gumline. Make sure the bristles touch both the gumline and the surface of your teeth.
- Gently brush two to three teeth in a rolling back-and-forth motion. When done, move on to the next small set of teeth and continue until the entire mouth is covered.
- Tilt your toothbrush vertically behind your front teeth. Use the front half of the brush to clean the inner side of your teeth with up and down strokes and circular motions.
- Gently scrub the chewing side of your teeth with your brush.
- Brush your tongue to get rid of bacteria and (for fresh breath). A tongue scraper is also useful for this step.
- Remember to floss!
The Type of Toothbrush to Use
While some may think that medium- and hard-bristled toothbrushes are better at cleaning teeth, most dental professionals recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes. Not only are they less likely to hurt your gums, they also don’t harm the teeth’s enamel. Enamel is most visible part of your teeth and protects them from decay.
Our mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body. By caring for our teeth and gums, we can improve our overall health. Remember to visit your dentist twice a year to catch any potential problems early, and keep yourself feeling great.