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Warding off tooth decay and gum disease is as easy as brushing your teeth properly at least twice a day and flossing at least once, in conjunction with regular dental cleanings. Believe it or not, there are better ways to brush your pearly whites than you might be doing. Today, Dr. Wallace Lunden and our Cedar Point Dentistry team in Minneapolis, Minnesota, want to share the following brushing tips to help you ensure a healthy smile.

— Make sure the brush you use is the right size for your mouth. You want it to fit comfortably in your hand as you work with it, and it shouldn’t be too big or too small in your mouth.

— Use the softest bristle’s you can to get the job done effectively. Hard bristles combined with strenuous brushing can wear down tooth enamel and cause your gums to recede.

— Brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, but no more than three times a day. It’s also important to use gentle brushstrokes as you clean your teeth.

— As you brush, don’t saw side-to-side as this can damage the gum line. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and use short up-and-down strokes to clean.

— While you are cleaning your teeth, go ahead and brush your tongue, the molars in the back of your mouth and all the sides of your tooth surfaces to remove harmful bacteria.

— Tooth whitening or tartar control toothpaste can be harsh on enamel over time. Conversely, fluoride toothpaste helps protect enamel and if you have sensitive teeth, desensitizing toothpaste helps protect those pearly whites.

— Beverages like coffee, diet sodas, fruit juices and energy drinks all have acid that softens tooth enamel. If you like these drinks, wait at least 20 minutes before brushing your teeth. This allows your saliva to remineralize your enamel before you brush, which protects your teeth.

— Because moist brushes can grow bacteria, store your toothbrush upright without touching surfaces (such as countertops, other toothbrushes, etc.) so it can air dry in between uses.

— Replace your toothbrush every three months to four months, or whenever the bristles fray. Frayed bristles can’t clean your teeth effectively.

Using these brushing tips will go a long way to maintaining your healthy smile. This Thanksgiving, take the time to care for your pearly whites and they will thank you. If it is time for your next dental checkup, please contact Dr. Wallace Lunden and our Cedar Point Dentistry team in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by calling 612-822-2176 today!