Do you know how to brush teeth properly?
Have you ever bothered to ask your dentist about the right brushing techniques?
If no, don’t worry. We are happy to help you.
In this article, we are going to show you how to properly brush your teeth and keep them beautiful, white and caries free.
Before explaining the correct brushing technique let me tell you one thing.
Although tooth brushing removes most of the bacteria and other harmful microorganisms from your mouth, this alone isn’t enough.
There are many bacteria and food debris hidden in between your teeth (the interproximal areas) which your normal toothbrush can’t reach. And that’s where the interdental brushes and dental floss come into the picture.
So your oral care will only be complete when you use interdental brushes, dental floss followed by toothbrushes on a daily basis (Use interdental brushes at least twice a week).
Brush twice a day and floss once a day.
Choose The Right ToothBrush
Before learning the correct tooth brushing technique it is important to choose the right toothbrush for the purpose.
There are a variety of toothbrushes available in the market today. These all vary in size and design, as well as in length, hardness and the way the bristles are arranged.
Always choose a toothbrush with softer bristles. If you use a brush with harder bristles it may cause ‘abrasion of teeth’.
Also ‘the ease of use’ is another factor which you have to keep in mind while choosing the toothbrush for yourself. If you aren’t comfortable using a toothbrush, efficient elimination of plaque and bacteria from the mouth isn’t possible.
Here’s an article that shows you how to choose a toothbrush.
Please remember to replace your toothbrush once every 3 to 4 months.
Studies have shown that powered toothbrushes are (slightly) more effective in removing the dental plaque than the manual toothbrushes.
So if you can, go and buy an electric toothbrush.
Various Tooth Brushing Techniques
Many tooth brushing techniques have been described in the past and were publicized as the most efficient brushing technique.
However, most of them didn’t stand the test of time.
Here are a few tooth brushing techniques which were most commonly used.
These methods have been named and categorized mainly based on the pattern of motion that is followed when brushing the teeth.
Roll: Roll or modified Stillman technique
Vibratory: Stillman, Charters, and Bass techniques
Circular: Fones technique
Vertical: Leonard technique
Horizontal: Scrub technique
At present, the highly recommended brushing technique, especially for people suffering from periodontal problems is the sulcular brushing technique, where a vibratory motion is used.
This technique is very efficient in cleaning the dent0gingival junction (the place where the tooth meets the gum). This process of emphasizing on cleaning the dentogingival junction is called as ‘target hygiene’.
And the most commonly advised ‘sulcular brushing technique’ is the ‘Bass Technique’.
Here’s How To Brush Teeth Properly
To keep your teeth healthy its essential to brush your teeth 2-3 minutes twice a day.
As mentioned earlier, the brushing technique we will be following here is the ‘Bass Brushing Technique”.
To begin with, choose a soft bristled brush.
Take a small amount of toothpaste (fluoride toothpaste are recommended) and place it on the bristles. The commonly recommended amount of toothpaste is ‘pea-sized’.
Using a lot of toothpaste can cause an ‘oversudsing’ effect. It can also make you ingest a lot of fluoridated toothpaste, which is not recommended at all.
Now to start, place the soft bristled toothbrush at a 45 degrees angle to your gum line. The brush head should cover 3 to 4 teeth at once.
Start with the most posterior tooth or the molars in the back and then slowly move to the front.
Start moving your toothbrush in a direction in which the teeth grow during the teeth eruption days. Meaning, when brushing the mandibular or lower teeth, move your brush vertically upwards from the gums and while brushing the maxillary or the upper teeth, move your brush in a downward direction vertically starting from the gum line. In earlier days brushing with short strokes in a back and forth motion was advised.
The use of gentle vibratory pressure using short, back-and-forth motions without dislodging the tips of the bristles is recommended. This motion helps bristles to reach gingival sulcus (near the gums) and the area between teeth which otherwise would not have been possible.
Brush all the sides of the teeth including the chewing surfaces (occlusal surfaces) of the teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, brush vertically using several up and down strokes.
Finally, you can also run your brush along the length of your tongue and clean it. This will keep the surface of your tongue ‘bacteria free’.
Remember not to brush vigorously or apply too much pressure. Brush gently and with moderate speed.
Don’t hurt your gums. Recommended pressure when using near the gums is as follows
“The pressure should be firm enough to blanch the gums”.
Blanching means to make white or pale.
Don’t use the scrub motion while brushing your teeth as it will cause irreversible damage to the enamel of teeth resulting in ‘abrasion’.
How To Brush Your Teeth With an Electrical Tooth Brush?
There are various mechanical motions that are already built in your electrical toothbrush. So brushing with an electric toothbrush can be comparatively easier than using the conventional toothbrush.
The technique we use while brushing with an electric toothbrush is ‘Bass Brushing Technique’. However, the approach may be slightly different. Read this to find out how to use electric toothbrush to brush your teeth effectively.
You just need to place the brush head at 45 degrees to the teeth at the gum line, similar to the position used with the mechanical(normal) toothbrushes.
Rest of the brushing process is the same as used with the normal toothbrushes.
Please remember to brush twice daily. Visit your dentist once every six months for a dental check-up.