HOUSTON – According to the World Dental Federation, between 60-90% of schoolchildren and nearly 100% of adults have tooth decay.
Here are a few ways you can fight it:
Brush for two minutes
Judson Wells from UT Health School of Dentistry said divide your mouth into four quadrants and brush each for 30 seconds.
Use a timer and brush for two minutes to see how long that actually is.
Get a new toothbrush
Switch your toothbrush every three to four months.
Don't use a hard brush.
Wells said you want an extra soft, not a soft, medium or hard bristle brush.
"If you're using medium or hard bristle toothbrush, you can do damage," Wells said.
Brush in small circles
Don’t use a sawing motion on your teeth. That’s too much friction on your enamel, Wells said.
"You really want to stop on every individual tooth and just brush in small circles with the bristles aimed at the gum line," he said.
Brush areas that bleed
Another mistake people make is avoiding areas of the mouth that bleed.
Wells said that’s the opposite of what you should be doing since the inflammation that causes bleeding can be corrected with brushing and flossing. He said to give the area extra attention for two to three weeks and the issue should resolve on its own.