A Step-By-Step Guide to Proper Tooth Brushing
There are a LOT of people not brushing their teeth correctly! One of the biggest causes of plaque buildup, gum recession, sensitivity, staining, and enamel wear we see in the dental field is simply improper tooth brushing! Here is a step-by-step guide to brushing the right way:
1: The Right Brush
The ADA and ADHA recommend a SOFT or EXTRA SOFT bristled toothbrush. Anything else can wear away your gums and/or enamel! Don’t feel like your teeth get clean without hard bristles? Let’s work on technique or get you an electric toothbrush (with soft bristles, of course!). Hard or medium bristles and a tough scrub are dangerous to your gum and tooth surfaces and can wear them away.
2: The Right Time
Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes at a time. You can get an app or physical timer if you feel that it helps, and a lot of electric toothbrushes stop after two minutes. Split your mouth into quadrants (upper right and left, lower right and left) and spend 30 seconds in each quadrant.
3: The Right Way
Brushing your teeth with good technique insures you remove plaque from all surfaces the brush can reach, without doing damage to gum or enamel. Tilt the toothbrush bristles to a 45 degree angle towards the gums, and brush in small circles. Make sure to brush the cheek side, tongue side, and chewing surface of all teeth. If you are a visual person, this video is an excellent tool explaining proper brushing:
4: The Rest
Talk to Dr. Smith or your hygiene team for a recommendation on which toothpaste is right for you. And don’t forget to floss! Check out our blog post Is Flossing Really Necessary? To learn why.