If you ask a room full of people of any age, “Do you know how to brush your teeth?” chances are you'll get a unanimous response of “Yes!” However, most people could use some pointers on getting the most from their brushing routine. After all, it’s been a long time since most of us first learned how to brush our teeth. That’s why it’s a good idea to stop and review tips to help re-learn how to brush your teeth to make sure your teeth are getting the highest level of care possible.
How to Brush Your Teeth: Helpful Hints
Make sure your pearly whites are getting the best attention. Follow these tips to get the most out of your toothbrushing.
How to Brush Your Teeth Step #1: The Toothbrush
Find the right toothbrush. Electric or manual toothbrushes can both work equally well, but for best results, try both and stick to what works best for you. Find a soft bristle toothbrush with bristles of varying heights. This will ensure the bristles can effectively clean all surfaces and in between your teeth including hard to reach areas.
How to Brush Your Teeth Step #2: The Toothpaste
When you first learned how to brush your teeth, chances are you probably didn’t have much control over which toothpaste you used—you most likely just used whatever your parents used. Now, there are literally hundreds of choices available. From regular to tartar and plaque control to sensitive teeth toothpaste, to natural, whitening or bubble-gum flavored, you have more choices than ever. Your best bet is to try a toothpaste that is accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA). Look for the ADA seal on the package, or look up specific products on the ADA Web site at www.ada.org.
How to Brush Your Teeth Step #3: Teeth Brushing Technique
When brushing, make sure you have a systematic routine that helps ensure you reach every tooth’s surface, including front, back, and in between. Some dentists recommend using a quadrant approach, spending at least 30 seconds on each quadrant and a minimum of two minutes for your whole mouth. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle when brushing both the outer and inner teeth. For chewing surfaces, experts recommend you brush in a back and forth motion with the brush flat against your teeth. For the inside surfaces of your front teeth, it’s best to brush using an up-and-down motion with the brush tilted vertically. Finally, don’t forget to brush your tongue. This will remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh. (1)
If you want to make sure you are brushing properly, ask your dentist the next time you visit to review how to brush your teeth. Once you’ve remembered how to brush your teeth, put the knowledge to use as often as possible, brushing your teeth after meals or at least twice a day.