For most of us brushing our teeth is a mundane routine part of the day. Brushing is a foundation for maintaining good oral hygiene. But, how many of us brush our teeth the right way? We generally learn how to brush our teeth from our parents. However, parents are often misinformed on the proper method of brushing which they then pass on to their children. Very few adults know how to properly brush their teeth. Incorrect brushing habits can lead to dental problems such as plaque accumulation, gum bleeding, halitosis (bad breath), gum disease (gingivitis, periodontitis), tooth decay etc.
1. You should always try to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Tooth brushes can be chosen on individual preference. Basically, choose one that you are comfortable with. Also size of brush head is important. If the toothbrush is too large to fit properly in your mouth, you will be unable to reach the further most areas. For many an electric toothbrush will work best. Our office recommends the Rotadent (made by Zila) electric toothbrush but any would be fine if it is effective for you.
2. Rinse your brush before using it. A small amount of tooth paste is enough for brushing. You do not need to cover all the bristles with toothpaste. Just want enough on there for the paste to do its work.
3. Hold the tooth brush angulated at 45 degrees to your teeth towards the gums. Do not hold the brush flatly against your teeth. You want to be able to have the brush go all the way down to the gum line where most of the plaque resides. Paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration.
4. Start from the back of the upper jaw. You need to ensure you are cleaning all surfaces of the teeth effectively. There are three surfaces…..
1. The chewing surface of teeth.
2. The outer surface of the teeth facing the cheek.
3. Inner surfaces of the teeth.
Start with 3 teeth at a Clean on all 3 surfaces of the teeth. Use gentle pressure with short back and forth movements. Avoid using vigorous pressure as it is unnecessary. Let the brush and paste do the work for you.
5. After cleaning the 3 back most teeth, move on the next 3 teeth…..and so on.
6. After you have completed brushing your upper teeth, move on to your lower teeth and complete brushing in the same way as the upper teeth.
7. After brushing your teeth, brush along the gum line gently to remove any lodged food particles. Also, brush your tongue. Brushing your tongue will remove bacteria and buildup there to help with bad breath.
Should also replace your toothbrush at least once every three months or sooner if it looks to be worn down.
One last tip, would be the use of a plaque disclosing solution. This would give you a visual aid to see what areas you are missing or need work on.
Well, now you know how to brush teeth correctly. Pass it on!