How to Brush Your Teeth
The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. You always want to use a soft
brush with a small head. A soft brush is hard enough to remove plaque, yet
gentle enough not to damage your teeth or gums.
The next issue is to select good toothpaste. In general, any toothpaste that
contains Fluoride will do the job, unless you have special needs that are
determined by your dentist. Two of the best brands of toothpastes are Colgate
Total and Crest Multicare.
The first rule of brushing is to start from a specific location and work your
way to the opposite side, continuing all the way through the whole mouth so that
you end where you started. This way you won't miss any area. Usually a pea-sized
amount of toothpaste is enough. An adequate brushing should at least take 2
minutes and preferably around 4 minutes.
There are a variety of techniques for brushing your teeth, but one of the
most popular ones is described here:
Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle toward the teeth and gums. Gently press
against the gums so the tips of the bristles go in between the gum and the
teeth. Then apply a few lateral strokes and roll down the brush to sweep the
plaque away from the teeth and the gum. Repeat this motion 6 to 10 times and
move on to the next area of 2 to 3 teeth. If your mouth is full of foam, spit
out and continue brushing. Your brushing is completed when you have brushed all
the surfaces of your teeth, not when your mouth is full! On chewing surfaces,
short strokes work best to get the plaque out of the grooves and pits. When
brushing the back side of your front teeth, hold your brush vertically to be
able to reach the teeth better.
As far as frequency of brushing is concerned, ideally you want to brush your
teeth after each meal. But if you canít, brush at least twice a day- after
breakfast and before going to bed.
Learn how to
floss your teeth
Go back to Patient Education