You’ve been brushing your teeth since you were a child, but have you always been getting them as clean as possible? Simply running your toothbrush over the teeth for a few seconds, or brushing only once a day will not aid oral health in the long run.

Why exactly do we brush our teeth?

The main reason brushing teeth is important is to remove plaque, a sticky form of bacteria that grows on the surface of the teeth, and sometimes even the tongue, irritating the gums and causing cavities. Bacteria buildup also produces sticky substances that cause bad breath.

Although brushing your teeth is dependent on a range of factors, the type of toothbrush used may not be the first thing that people think of. According to a recent study conducted by the Cochrane Oral Health Group, brushing with an electric toothbrush was associated with a 21 percent reduction in plague, and an 11 percent reduction in gum inflammation compared with regular manual brushing.

Brushing with Braces

Oral healthcare, in terms of teeth brushing, is especially important for those who wear braces. Dependent on the type of treatment, food and other particles can become stuck, staining the teeth or causing other issues.

Traditional metal braces often require wearers to watch what they eat daily, often avoiding sticky candies or harder foods such as popcorn. Being fitted with other forms of treatment instead though can change the types of food one must be conscious of. For example. Invisalign can and should be removed when brace wearers are eating but must be routinely cleaned as well.

To learn more about your oral health, schedule a consultation with New York City orthodontist Dr. Tanya Vaysman.

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