Mouth open or mouth closed?
After lunch or after dinner?
Flat or at an angle?

We brush our teeth every day (hopefully more than once!), but who knew it was this complicated? Just grab a brush a get to work, right? There are actually some best practices to be mindful of when brushing those pearly whites. The trick is cutting through the fat and finding out exactly what works. We live in a world of alternate facts, truthiness, and lists of “7 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Clean Without Picking Up a Toothbrush.” How do you know what the best practice is for brushing? We’ll keep it simple with some easy dos and don’ts of brushing.

Don’t: Keep your brush flat.
Do: Use a 45-degree angle when brushing.

Don’t: Use looooooooong strokes. No need to cover your whole mouth in one stroke!
Do: Use short, side to side strokes.

Don’t: Brush with the force of a giant. This isn’t a strongman contest!
Do: Gently cover all areas. A gentle touch helps prevent wear and tear on your enamel

Don’t: Go one and done.
Do: Brush at least twice a day, especially after eating or drinking something acidic (like citrus or soda).

Don’t: Be sentimental and use the same toothbrush for life.
Do: Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. A trick to remember: switch out on the first day of each season.

Don’t: Be average – the average person brushes their teeth for 45 seconds.
Do: Brush for a full 2 minutes. A helpful trick: say the alphabet while brushing a certain section, move to the next section after you hit Z.

Don’t: Keep your toothbrush in a closed container.
Do: Allow your toothbrush to air dry.

Don’t: Store your toothbrush on the sink counter where bathroom particles can get on it.
Do: Store your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet.

Don’t: Wield a tough-bristled brush.
Do: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, which is much better for your tooth enamel And there we have it! Some easy practices to keep that perfect smile.

Remember: Brushing is only 4 minutes out of the day, so why not make it the best 4 minutes of the day!