Everyone knows the importance of brushing, but most people still use a fairly haphazard technique! They usually start in the front and end somewhere in the back, brushing at random and often missing areas on the way. Establishing a pattern when you brush is extremely important for the daily removal of plaque. Flossing and regular visits to the dental office will complete the job.
When you’re brushing your teeth, it’s also important not to miss your gums. Adults, in particular, need to concentrate on the sulcus or gum pockets, as it’s here plaque accumulates and periodontal disease develops. Using a soft, round-tipped toothbrush, here are some helpful tooth brushing tips:
Always start at the same place in your mouth and brush from tooth to tooth. A good place to start is with the inside upper back teeth. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle so it’s half on the gum and half on the tooth. Gently vibrate the toothbrush bristles in a forward and backward motion, working some of the bristles under the gum. This movement allows you to clean the surfaces under the edge of the gum. Make sure not to scrub!
Once you are done with the inside of the upper teeth, move to the outside. Start at the back and move to the front, again keeping the brush at a 45-degree angle.
After you’ve cleaned the inside and outside surfaces, move to the tops (biting surfaces) of your teeth. These are cleaned with a back and forth motion, keeping the toothbrush bristles directly on top of the teeth.
Don’t forget to brush the insides, outsides and tops of both your upper and lower teeth.
It’s important not to rush your brush! Proper brushing should take at least two to three minutes to complete. If a more complete or longer brushing is new to you, there might be some bleeding and soreness of the gums. This is normal, but if it’s persistent, a visit to our office may be necessary.