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Softer Brush, Lighter Strokes Key to Oral Health.

A recent article in BusinessWeek (March 1, 2004) explains that it is possible to "brush your teeth away."

Harsh strokes with your toothbrush — especially when coupled with a toothbrush that is too firm — can cause an increase of tooth and gum abrasion, gum recession, and periodontal disease, according to the article.

In addition to taking it a little easier with brush strokes, dentists recommend using a soft brush in order reduce to reduce the risk of abrasion and other damage to your teeth and gums.

The American Dental Association (ADA) offers the following guidelines for effective toothbrushing:
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.

  • Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.

  • Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

  • Use the "toe" of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.

  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Additionally, the ADA recommends you replace your toothbrush every three or four months - sooner if the bristles become frayed. A worn toothbrush is less effective in cleaning your teeth. Also, children's toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adults'.


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