Are you doing a thorough job when you clean your teeth?

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You may brush your teeth twice a day religiously, but are you doing a thorough job?

According to dentists, many people miss vital areas of the mouth and this means that their dental health is at risk, even though they are diligent about their brushing regime. Jessica Hilburg, from the NYU College of Dentistry, said that many people forget about cleaning the inward facing surfaces of the teeth because they’re not visible when you smile. It’s also common to spend time brushing the teeth, but neglect the tongue.

The aim of brushing is to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria before bacteria combine with saliva and bits of food to form plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance, which causes both gum disease and cavities. If you clean the entire mouth, you’ll have a much lower risk of developing oral diseases.

The advice from dentists is to set a timer when you brush and to devote equal attention to each quadrant of the mouth. When you brush, angle the head of the brush so that you can cover the gum line and both the outward and inward facing surfaces of the tooth. Once you’ve finished cleaning your tongue, use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and then inter-dental brushes or dental floss to remove bacteria and debris from the small cracks between the teeth. Dentists also recommend regular routine check-ups every 6-9 months and an annual trip to the dental hygienist.

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