Are You Using the Right Tooth Brushing Technique?

Having the right tooth brushing technique is important to help make sure those couple of minutes spent twice a day are really effective, but what exactly is the right method? A quick perusal of the Internet will show there are lots of different ways of tooth brushing, and it’s not surprising this has led to considerable confusion. Just recently dental experts in the UK released new advice for correct tooth brushing as researchers found there were no less than five different sets of instructions plus a whole wealth of conflicting information provided by dentists.

The Latest Changes in Tooth Brushing Techniques

In the past dentists advised patients to brush their teeth in small circular motions using a suitable size toothbrush head and angling the brush to get just down below the gum line. This device could often sound quite complicated so it’s hardly surprising that many people admit they are not quite sure if they are brushing their teeth correctly. The latest study advises people to hold their toothbrush as if it were a pen. This is because it prevents too much force being used when brushing your teeth as this could damage the delicate gum tissue. Rather than using circular motions patients are now being advised to use simple tooth brushing techniques that just go backwards and forwards, angling the brush at 45° to help target plaque that can build up around the gum line which is the junction where the gums meet the teeth. In addition, it’s best to use a smaller toothbrush head as these are easier to manipulate and can reach all areas of the mouth, including right behind the wisdom teeth or back molars.

How Much Time You Spend on Tooth Brushing

This advice is very easy to follow, especially when combined with a few simple rules. You do need to spend a couple of minutes each time a thoroughly brushing your teeth, and that’s just 120 seconds twice a day which is easy for anyone to put aside. In spite of this many people over estimate the time they spend actually brushing their teeth. Either invest in a small stopwatch or timer to keep in the bathroom, or purchase an electric toothbrush as these have built-in timers that generally indicate when every 30 seconds has passed. Choose a toothbrush with softer bristles rather than harder bristles as these are much more effective at removing plaque and won’t damage your teeth or gums.

Follow the Routine When Tooth Brushing

It is usually best to follow a routine to make sure every tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned. For example you can think of your mouth as being split into four sections, and could clean the outer surfaces of one half of your upper teeth first, before moving on to the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces. These actions are then repeated for each quarter or quadrant of your mouth. If you have any dental restorations such as crowns and bridges or dental implants then pay extra attention to cleaning around them as this will help prevent plaque buildup and will reduce the risk of any infection.

Use the Right Toothpaste

Choose your toothpaste carefully, and make sure it has been approved by the American Dental Association. ADA approved products have been rigorously tested to make sure they are safe and effective. As always, all the dentists at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center are here to help with practical advice on brushing and flossing techniques, as well as advice on choosing toothpastes, mouthwash and dental floss.

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