General dentist Dr. Eric Siani DMD of Palmdale, California says most of his new patients do not know how to brush their teeth effectively. The main problem is usually that they don’t spend enough time brushing, explains Dr. Eric Siani DMD.
Dr. Eric Siani DMD says that adults should spend a minimum of two full minutes — that’s 120 seconds — brushing in order to really cleanse the teeth thoroughly. In addition to brushing long enough, Dr. Eric Siani DMD advises his patients to brush gently. Hard brushing doesn’t equal cleaner teeth. In fact, brushing too hard can cause sensitive gums to bleed, cautions Dr. Eric Siani DMD.
Remember that it’s not just the easy-to-reach front teeth that should receive attention. Dr. Eric Siani DMD says that each tooth must be cleaned as thoroughly as possible, including the back teeth and the inner surfaces of all the teeth.
Like many dentists, Dr. Eric Siani DMD prefers that his patients use toothbrushes with soft bristles. For the same reason that brushing should be done gently, soft to medium toothbrushes are strong enough to remove debris and plaque, explains Dr. Eric Siani DMD, but not so hard as to irritate sensitive gums.
Automatic toothbrushes are often recommended by dentists, including Dr. Eric Siani DMD, as many people will brush longer with them than they do with standard toothbrushes. Children especially can benefit from using battery-operated toothbrushes, observes Dr. Eric Siani DMD, as they tend to race through brushing — or even try to get away with not brushing their teeth at all.
Dr. Eric Siani DMD also believes that hi-tech toothbrushes can also make hard-to-reach teeth somewhat easier to clean. People with arthritis or rheumatism (or any other manual dexterity limitation) can also find automatic toothbrushes helpful, says Dr. Eric Siani DMD.
When a toothbrush is three months old or shows any sign of wear, Dr. Eric Siani DMD recommends replacing it with a new one. Worn bristles don’t reach as far nor are they as effective in cleaning teeth and removing plaque, explains Dr. Eric Siani DMD. Many brushes have color indicators on the bristles themselves as another visual reminder of when it’s time for a new toothbrush.