The Manhattan Beach Family Dentist believes that it is important to educate our patients to helping them maintain healthy teeth and gums. You already know that your daily oral hygiene routine is essential to minimizing plaque and preventing dental infections. But many patients are not taking advantage of the full benefits of brushing and flossing twice a day.
The technique you use when brushing has a great impact on the effectiveness of your daily oral hygiene routine. So let’s review the proper technique for brushing teeth.
How to Brush Properly
- Wet your toothbrush and apply a peanut-sized strip of toothpaste (pea-sized for children). Using too much toothpaste can be harmful for children because they are more likely to swallow it and ingest fluoride. Too much fluoride in the system can cause problems. Your dentist can discuss this with you.
- Begin with your upper left molars (in the back) by placing the toothbrush on the outer surface of the tooth. Tilt your brush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums and press lightly to bend the bristles a bit. Do not press too hard or you may damage the enamel on the surface of your tooth, resulting in sensitivity and/or discoloration. Your brush head should cover approximately 2-3 teeth at a time.
- Move your brush across your teeth in a slightly circular motion. Your strokes should be about the length of one tooth and you should spend about 10-15 seconds in one spot.
- Gradually work your way around to the front teeth and continue on to the other side of your mouth. Then switch to the bottom teeth and do the same thing.
- Once you have finished cleaning the front surfaces of your teeth, move on to the inside surfaces of the upper and lower molars and premolars.
- To clean the inside surface of your front teeth, hold the brush perpendicular to the gum line and use a flicking motion to wipe away plaque.
- Don’t forget to brush the biting surface of your molars. This will prevent plaque and bacteria from causing cavities by growing inside the crevices in your teeth.
- Finally, brush your tongue and the inside of your cheeks, and then rinse with water.
Following these simple steps will help you to maintain healthy, clean teeth between professional cleanings. Remember to schedule regular professional cleanings with the Manhattan Beach Family Dentist to really optimize your oral health.