Healthy Tooth Brushing Techniques
Last updated Monday, December 19th, 2022
Daily tooth brushing is an important part of proper dental hygiene. Many people know the basic recommendations – brush for two minutes at a time, once or twice a day, make sure to brush all teeth and your tongue, etc. However, many people do not know that it can be a little more complicated than that.
There are different methods to brushing, and using the wrong one can mean that it might not be helping all that much. So, how exactly are we supposed to be brushing our teeth?
What is the Modified Bass Brushing Technique?
This is one of the most common and most effective techniques for brushing. It involves placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line, and brushing each tooth (or two-three at a time) using a gentle circular movement.
Brush well and when you are finished with each tooth, flick the toothbrush down the tooth and away from the gum line. Make sure each surface of the tooth is brushed in this manner, including the outer, inner, and top surfaces.
In addition, make sure to brush your tongue using the same circular motions you used on your teeth. Spend as much time brushing your molars as your front teeth – back teeth are often neglected.
How to Choose the Right Toothbrush?
Using the wrong toothbrush can be damaging to your gums. Most dentists recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head.
A hard-bristled brush can injure your gums, causing them to pull back from the teeth. This may expose the tooth root and increase sensitivity to cold or heat. A hard-bristled brush can also wear away at the enamel if excessive force is used, causing irreversible damage.
Brushes with small heads have an easier time getting into hard-to-reach places, like the back teeth. It’s also recommended to ensure that the shape of the head feels comfortable in your mouth, to avoid making regular brushing an unpleasant experience. In the same vein, choose a toothbrush with a handle that feels comfortable in your hand and is easy to hold.
The bristle pattern may not matter – check with your dentist to see if you should be using a brush with a certain arrangement of bristles. If possible, a powered toothbrush is often a great choice. A manual toothbrush does a good job, but a powered toothbrush often does a better job removing plaque. Some powered toothbrushes also have a built-in two minute timer, making it easier to brush for the recommended amount of time.
When shopping for toothbrushes or any other dental product, make sure to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on the package. This indicates that said product has been tested for safety and efficacy.
Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles begin to show signs of wear, whichever comes first. If you have any questions about how to brush or what toothbrush to use, the best course of action is always to ask your dentist. They will be able to recommend the best technique for brushing and the dental products that are most fitting for you.