Brushing techniques: What's the best way to brush your teeth?
Everyone knows they should brush their teeth everyday, but even that won't get you the oral health results you want if you're not using proper technique. By using the proper technique, you can be sure that you'll get as much plaque off your teeth as possible. Knowing the right method is important for your oral health, but it is also key so you can teach your children how to care for their mouths.
Duration and frequency
At the very least, you should be brushing your teeth twice a day. If you really want to have a clean mouth and ward off bad breath, you should brush three times a day - once after every meal. The recommended amount of time for each brushing session is two minutes. With that in mind you're looking at between four and six minutes out of your day. There are 1,440 minutes in every day, so you should be able to find somewhere in that time some room to brush your teeth.
Now that we know how long and often we should be brushing, we can look at how to actually brush. Many people brush without really thinking about it. While this is better than nothing, if you're going to take the time out of your busy day to brush your teeth, you might as well brush them properly.
When brushing, make sure to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle from the gum line. You want the brush to clean up to the gums because where the gums and tooth touch is where bacteria and plaque usually sit. Brush in short side-to-side strokes and focus on the outside, then the inside and then finally the biting surface of the teeth. Once the teeth have been cleaned lightly brush your tongue. Remember to not push too hard when brushing. Think about it like this: You're brushing, not scrubbing.
Don't always start or end in the same place in your mouth. It can be easy to get into a routine and start and stop in the same parts of your mouth every time you brush, but it's better to switch things up. If you always brush your teeth exactly the same way, you might get in the habit of under-cleaning a certain portion of your mouth.
What's the right toothbrush?
The proper toothbrush is one that has soft bristles. Stiffer brushes will make your gums bleed and may even damage your teeth overtime. Some brushes have a special pad, brush or scraper for your tongue. While not necessary, if you like it, then use it. Manual or electric tooth brushes both work well, but remember that if you choose to use an electric toothbrush, you still need to brush for the recommended amount of time.
As important as brushing your teeth is, don't forget that it is only a portion of the tasks you need to do to keep your mouth clean. Don't for get to floss regularly and use mouthwash. Usually, its a good idea to floss and rinse your mouth when you brush.