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Dental hygiene has become so second nature for many adults that they have forgotten how important it is to use correct brushing technique and, even more importantly, they have forgotten how to teach their children how to correctly care for their teeth.

Here are some tips to help you re-evaluate your personal dental hygiene habits:

1. Brush at least twice per day, and no more than three times per day. Brushing teeth too often can cause the enamel to wear away, leaving nothing to protect your teeth and gums from bacteria and infection.

2. Give it time. Make it a priority to brush two times per day for at least two minutes. Some experts suggest splitting up your mouth into four sections and brushing each section for 30 seconds.

3. Brush lightly. Brushing too hard can cause severe damage to your gums. It can cause gums to recede, exposing more of the tooth. One way to ensure light brushing is to hold your toothbrush like you hold a pen, naturally creating a lighter stroke.

4. Keep your toothbrush clean. Always rinse your brush when you are done brushing your teeth. Rinsing and air drying your toothbrush is the most convenient, practical solution to removing germs form your toothbrush.

5. When it’s time to part, it’s time to part. The ADA suggests that toothbrushes be replaced every three or four months. Once the bristles on the brush lose their flexibility and start to break apart, it is time to replace.