From a young age, you’ve heard how important it is to take care of your teeth by practicing healthy dental hygiene habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your general dentist for regular cleanings and dental exams are the best ways to keep your teeth healthy and strong. But did you know that there are other habits you can incorporate into your dental care routine? One of them is dry brushing teeth.
Dry brushing is the same practice as brushing your teeth, but without using toothpaste or water. If you’ve never heard of dry brushing, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this healthy practice and explain why you should try dry brushing your teeth.
Changes in Toothbrushes Over the Years
Toothbrush production has changed over the years, and our habits should change with them. Decades ago, toothbrushes were made of hard bristles –– such as horsehair –– and needed to be soaked in water prior to using them to brush teeth. These days, most bristles on toothbrushes are made from nylon, which don’t require water for use. In fact, wetting nylon bristles before using them may cause them to soften, leading to less effective cleaning. Nylon toothbrushes are great for occasional dry brushing!
Oils in Toothpaste
Many modern toothpastes contain oils like glycerin, which will leave a coating on your teeth and tongue. Glycerin can make your teeth feel smoother and cleaner than they really are, which may result in you brushing your teeth for a shorter time than what is actually required. Even your tongue gets coated in the oil and can make your teeth feel smoother against your tongue.
Dry brushing teeth –– instead of using toothpaste with glycerin –– helps give you a more accurate depiction of the cleanliness of your mouth. Since you’ll be able to better feel the spots in your mouth that need extra attention, dry brushing will also help provide brushing accuracy, unlike when using a toothpaste containing glycerin.
Retraining Your Mouth
There’s nothing better than that minty fresh feeling after you brush your teeth. But sometimes, the minty fresh taste of toothpaste can give you a false sense of security. That tingly feeling and minty taste tells our brains that our are clean, and our breath is fresh.
If you give dry brushing a try, you will often notice or find yourself brushing your teeth for longer than you normally do. This is because you are actually able to feel the bacteria and unclean parts of your mouth that still require attention. Without your toothpaste making you think your teeth are clean and fresh, you’ll instead continue to brush them until you actually feel and have clean fresh teeth. If you miss that minty fresh breath after dry brushing, you can always use mouthwash to get the same effect.
Dry Brushing Teeth vs. Traditional Tooth Brushing
Remember, too much of a good thing isn’t always beneficial. You should only try dry brushing occasionally since brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps eliminate tooth decay and dental cavities. Dry brushing is a great way to reset your existing tooth brushing habits and make sure you’re getting every tooth as clean as possible.
Regardless of how often you decide to dry brush your teeth, remember that brushing is key. Not brushing at all will allow plaque and tartar to build up around the gums, causing gum disease, periodontitis, and eventual tooth loss. The best way to care for your teeth is to practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup.
Here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we believe that each and every person deserves a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. We specialize in restoring smiles and saving natural teeth. With offices located in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, convenient care is only a phone call away. Contact us today to schedule your evaluation!