Two minutes, twice a day is all it takes
Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled brush is a great start, but there's more to it than that. If you want to brush your teeth the right way, don’t rush. Here’s why: Bacteria invade every inch of your mouth. So get in there and get everywhere with your brush. Brush your tongue, cheeks and the roof of your mouth, too. You should be spending 2-3 minutes brushing your teeth, twice a day.
Good oral health leads to better overall health. Follow these tips and you’ll be a better brusher in no time at all:
Harder is not better
Be gentle! Brushing too hard and/or too fast can cause receding gums. That can expose roots and make your mouth sensitive to cold, hot and acidic drinks and foods. Buy a soft-bristled toothbrush and use slow, gentle strokes.
Reach those hard to get to places
It's easy to brush front teeth, but it’s just as easy to forget your back teeth when you’re in a hurry. Make sure to focus on every tooth surface, your cheeks, and tongue.
Brush at a 45° angle
Hold your toothbrush at a 45° angle to your gum line. This allows the bristles to gently reach plaque that typically forms around the base of teeth down in the gums.
Use short strokes
Broad strokes can irritate gums, making them swell, bleed, and recede. Use short, gentle strokes and move in a gentle side-to-side motion.
Dump your toothbrush
Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles start to bend or fray. To prevent delays, buy two toothbrushes at a time so you’ll always have a new one handy.
The TRICARE Dental Program has you covered
The TRICARE Dental Program can help with members’ oral health. Members are covered for two routine dental cleanings in a consecutive 12-month period. A third cleaning, by the way, is allowed for pregnant patients as well as members diagnosed with diabetes, coronary artery disease (heart disease), cerebral vascular disease (stroke), rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, oral cancer, or recipients of an organ transplant. To qualify, register your condition online in My Account before using these expanded benefits.
Keep in mind, TDP members also are covered for two topical fluoride treatments in a consecutive 12-month period. For complete benefit information, select this link.
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