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The Right Way to Brush

Closeup of young woman brushing her teeth

Brushing harder doesn’t mean your brushing better.

Most of us don’t put much thought into how we brush our teeth other than the fact that we try to do it twice each day and never run out of toothpaste. But there’s a lot more to it than just trying to brush for two minutes twice daily.

A proper toothbrushing technique will:

  • require a soft toothbrush
  • angle the brush 45 degrees toward the gums
  • use short strokes
  • stimulate the gum tissue as you clean your teeth

What You’re Actually Trying to Do When You Brush

Although it’s important, brushing isn’t just about your teeth. It’s also about keeping your mouth free of gum disease. When you brush, you should make short strokes along two or three teeth at a time with the brush angled toward the gumlines of those teeth. This helps remove plaque from the tooth surfaces but also the plaque that is tucked just under the gumlines.

If you are simply scrubbing back and forth, it won’t remove these bacteria and will make you susceptible to gum disease as well as abrasion of the teeth. Wide back and forth strokes causes you to miss bacteria on the curved surfaces between the teeth, making you have more cavities, gum disease, and bad breathe.

What Else Can You Try?

If you think you’re not doing a good enough job with a manual brush, it may be worth investing in a high quality electric toothbrush. Most of these brushes only need to be angled toward the gums and left for several seconds on one tooth at a time. Remember – brushing only cleans the outsides of the teeth, not between them (so you’ll still have to floss.)

Give us a call! Scheduling regular cleanings every 6 months will help remove buildup that your brushing or flossing has missed. Routine cleanings help you catch up on your oral hygiene and avoid complications like gum disease or tooth decay. Frequent cleanings, exams, and X-rays keep your teeth stronger, healthier, and freshen your breath.

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