How Are You Supposed to Brush Your Teeth?
Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD, FICOI, FFICD, FADI
Do you know how you’re supposed to brush your teeth? Let’s review tips and techniques to help you keep a healthy mouth and smile:
- Brush your teeth at least two minutes twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.
- Make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
- Consider an electric toothbrush as studies have shown they are more effective at cleaning teeth than a manual toothbrush. They also offer additional useful features such as integrated timers, more bristle movement, and pressure sensors that are not offered in manual toothbrushes.
The proper brushing technique is to:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Brushing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to:
- Clean between teeth daily with floss. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
A healthy mouth starts with properly brushing your teeth! If you would like to speak about proper oral hygiene or any other dental topic, please feel free to call the office and schedule a complimentary appointment with me. Email and Twitter are also available options. I am extremely passionate about modern dentistry and love discussing it with patients, so don’t hesitate to contact me.
Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD, FICOI, FICD, FADI