How to brush your teeth effectively
Most patients will have heard from their dentists at one point or another to brush their teeth more frequently or more effectively. Yet, few patients know the best technique for optimal plaque removal. Many brush their teeth too hard and others neglect to brush the gumline where soft plaque tends to accumulate. Another common complaint is the hard, yellow buildup (calculus) often found behind the lower front teeth. In this blog post, we outline the best ways to address these common concerns and teach you the most effective brushing technique, according to current literature.
- Brush in circular motions, instead of scrubbing back and forth.
Circular motions are more effective at loosening up plaque from tooth surfaces and are less abrasive than scrubbing motions.
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush.
Using a hard or even medium toothbrush is too harsh on teeth and will eventually cause tooth brush abrasion, or thinning of the enamel. This can lead to sensitivity or fractures in the teeth. Hard brush bristles can also wear away the gum line.
- Massage the gums.
Angle your toothbrush towards your gums when brushing. This ensures that the toothbrush bristles massage the gums while also brushing the teeth. This allows for plaque removal from flat tooth surfaces and also the gum line, where plaque is often left behind.
- Brush the tongue.
This reduces the overall bacterial load in the oral environment, and is a major factor in reducing bad breath.
- Drop your chin to your chest in the mirror and turn your toothbrush vertically to brush behind your lower front teeth.
Brush this area with the toothbrush angled vertically, then flick up and outwards to remove plaque from this area before it hardens into calculus.
- Brush for approximately 2 minutes at a time.
This allows enough time to clean all surfaces adequately.
- Brush at least 2 times a day, or after each meal
Brushing in the morning and evening is crucial to remove sticky plaque from the teeth. Patients with high sugar diets and higher decay risk may benefit from brushing after each meal.
- Spit don’t rinse toothpaste after brushing at night.
After brushing, spit any excess toothpaste out but do not rinse your mouth with water. This allows some residual fluoride from the toothpaste to remain in the mouth and strengthen your teeth throughout the day and while you sleep.
- Floss nightly to clean between teeth, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach.
Take the floss 1-3mm beneath the gum line to clean between teeth and gums. Do not neglect a region just because it is bleeding. Instead, continue to floss the area regularly to remove irritants and seek a professional dental clean to remove hard calculus build up.
If you are now due for your regular dental check up and clean, book an appointment at Finesse Dental OR if you are a new patient and has been wanting to get a check up and a clean, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff on 02 8824 4800 to make a booking!