How to Properly Brush Your Teeth
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 5/14/2019
Believe it or not, there is a wrong way to brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth is not difficult, but it is easy to do more harm than good if you’re not using the proper brushing technique.
What is the proper brushing technique?
First, remember that properly brushing your teeth takes at least two minutes. Try to adhere to that, and even feel free to use a stopwatch to make sure you are reaching that mark.
To start brushing, tilt your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gumline. Gently move the brush back and forth with short strokes, sweeping the brush away from your gumline. To clean the inner surfaces, tilt the brush vertically and make up-and-down strokes. Concentrate on a thorough cleaning, with special attention to the gumline and hard-to-reach areas
You don’t necessarily have to follow this specific order, but consider starting with brushing the outer surfaces of your upper and lower teeth, followed by the inner surfaces of your upper and lower teeth, and then finish up with the chewing surfaces.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to brush your tongue! Doing so removes bacteria from your tongue and helps freshen and improve your breath.
Choosing the right toothbrush is important
Just as important as the proper brushing technique is the toothbrush you are using as part of that technique. You may be surprised by the variety of shapes, sizes, and types of toothbrushes available to you, but know that a soft-bristled toothbrush is best for a gentle cleaning.
Ultimately, you will want to choose the toothbrush that is most comfortable for you, with a size and shape that allows you to reach and clean all areas of your mouth.
Brushing alone is not always enough
Learning the proper brushing technique is half the battle. Flossing regularly is also an essential part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Mouthwash, when incorporated into your daily routine, also supports cavity prevention, freshens breath, and benefits your general oral health.