What Is the Correct Way to Brush Your Teeth?

Oral Heath La Jolla

Everyone knows that brushing twice per day is an important activity, but are you making the most of your brushing time? If you’re haphazardly rubbing your brush across your teeth, you may still be leaving some plaque and bacteria in your mouth, which makes you susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Below, Dr. Jaime Breziner, Dr. David Vasquez and Dr. Yael Kandinov — the outstanding dental team at La Jolla Family Smile Design — share some tips so that you can improve your brushing technique. 

Tips for Improving the Way You Brush Your Teeth

  • Tilt your brush so it is at a 45-degree angle and the bristles reach the area where the tooth meets the gum. (This area is especially susceptible to collecting plaque.)
  • Use small strokes to brush in a circular motion, concentrating your attention at the gumline.
  • Maneuver your brush so that you give attention to the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth, as well as the chewing surfaces.
  • You don’t need to use much force. Applying pressure can needlessly inflame your gums and damage your tooth enamel. Instead, use gentle brushing strokes. It may seem counterintuitive but giving your teeth a “deep” scrubbing does not make them cleaner.
  • Think of your teeth in quadrants. When you approach one section at a time (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right), you better ensure that all your teeth get sufficient attention.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue. The tongue can also accumulate bacteria that you should get rid of. 
  • Your total brushing time should be at least two minutes. Time it if necessary because people often believe they devote more time to brushing than they actually do in practice. 

Use Great Materials

  • Always use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a key part in cavity prevention while also supporting the development of new tooth enamel.
  • Select a brush with soft bristles. Hard bristle brushes are more likely to make your gums swell and bleed.
  • Replace your brush every three or four months so that you have a clean brush that is more effective at removing plaque. If your bristles are askew or have changed color, it is time for a new brush.

To Further Improve Your Oral Health, Visit La Jolla Family Smile Design

Brushing at home is critical, but so are biannual cleanings and examinations. To verify that your improved brushing techniques are helping to prevent cavities, schedule your next dental appointment by calling (858) 454-3044 today.