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How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

December 24, 2013

If you've been told by a dentist that there are areas deep in the teeth that cannot be reached by brushing or flossing, and that deep cleanings are necessary every 6 months to keep them clean - it's true - but learning how to brush your teeth properly or correctly can go a long way. It may seem trite to discuss how to brush your teeth, but if you haven't been taught since elementary school, consider this a refresher course that could just help you save your teeth and gums as you get older.

How Do I Brush My Teeth Properly?

What is the right way to brush my teeth? The proper way to brush one’s teeth involves these 4 factors:

  • the length of time your brush your teeth  
How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

Proper Tooth Brushing Technique

Proper brushing of one’s teeth takes at least two minutes. That’s one common mistake we all do – not brushing long enough. To be able to make sure you brush you teeth for 120 seconds, you can try to use a stopwatch for the first two weeks so you can have an estimate how long it usually takes – a song, a riddle or just counting in your head.

  • Tilt the toothbrush at a 45o angle against your gumline and sweep your toothbrush away from it. Do this type of stroke on all areas of your teeth.
  • Use gentle short strokes when brushing. Pay extra attention to the gumline, your molars or hard-to-reach teeth and those areas where you have had crowns or fillings.
  • Brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of each tooth using short back and forth strokes.
  • Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth. Do the same on your lower teeth.
  • Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth. Repeat on your lower teeth.
  • Clean the chewing surfaces, brushing along outside the mouth.
  • Don’t forget your tongue! Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria.

You can watch a video on how to brush your teeth on the steps outlined above.

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

Dentists agree that soft-bristled toothbrushes are best for removing bacteria from your teeth. Those with smaller heads can reach all areas of your mouth, especially the back teeth. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Replace it as soon as the bristles wear out.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Oral hygiene is more than just about having clean teeth. Proper and regular brushing of one’s teeth is just a part of your preventive dental care. You should visit your dentist twice a year to have your teeth cleaned as there are teeth that are more prone to cavities even if you brush your teeth regularly and watch what you eat.  There are preventive dental products like Carifree that can help protect your teeth but a professional dental consult is still necessary. At your dental appointment, Dr. Reese will review the integrity of your teeth and gums in order to help prevent or treat gingivitis, periodontal disease, or oral cancer. After a gentle cleaning, Dr. Reese will make sure you are aware of your oral health position and what options you have.

Indianapolis Dentistry is located just north of Greenwood, Indiana, 5 minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37. To make an appointment or to call for directions, please call 317-882-0228.