PrintNow that your children are crashing from the post-Halloween sugar high, it’s time to focus on brushing those pearly whites on National Brush Day. This Nov. 1 is an excellent time to educate your kids about proper brushing. Often adults need to brush up on their oral hygiene, too.

Brush at least twice a day for two minutes. Good habits start young! Get into a routine of brushing twice a day, and set a timer so your children brush the appropriate amount of time. Many adults do not spend enough time brushing.

Use a brush that fits your mouth. All mouths are not alike. Look for a toothbrush that fits the size and shape of your mouth to ensure you’re reaching every surface of the mouth.

Soft bristled brushes are best. Hard, stiff bristles are abrasive and scrape the enamel on your teeth, and they’re also more likely to cause your gums to bleed.

Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If the bristles fray, you should replace your toothbrush sooner. Remember to replace your toothbrush after sickness, too.

Brush all surfaces of the teeth. Generally people are good about brushing the outer surfaces of the teeth you can see. Don’t forget about those inner sides of your teeth and all chewing surfaces.

Brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. This angle ensures you remove food debris and bacteria trapped between the teeth and gums. Of course, flossing is still necessary.

Brush your tongue. You can remove bacteria and potentially smelly breath from your mouth by gently brushing over your tongue.

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