Tips for proper brushing

Using the correct tooth brushing technique is one of the most important things for your oral health that is often overlooked. Let's check in and make sure that you are brushing your teeth effectively to keep your teeth as healthy as possible!

Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush as recommended by the American Dental Association. Medium and hard-bristled toothbrushes can be too abrasive on the teeth and gums. When the bristles start to fray, it is time to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head if you are using an electric toothbrush. You can use every three to four months as a guideline for replacement.

When holding the toothbrush to your teeth, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Only use light pressure, you do not want to apply heavy pressure to the gums. If this is something that you struggle with, try holding your toothbrush with less fingers so that you are forced to apply less pressure. Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes. Brush the outer surfaces by the gumline, the inner surfaces by the roof of the mouth or tongue, and the chewing
surfaces of the teeth. To get to the inside surfaces of the front teeth on top and bottom, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes for an easier reach in this tight space. After covering all of the teeth make sure to gently brush your tongue to clean additional bacteria.

Proper brushing takes approximately two minutes. If you find that you are brushing for less than two minutes you can try using a timer to help. Some electric toothbrushes have automatic timers or sensors to let you know how long you are brushing. Some of these brushes also have a pressure sensor to let you know if you are brushing too hard.

If you have any questions about the way YOU are brushing your teeth, make sure to ask your dentist or dental hygienist to demonstrate next time you come in for a cleaning!


Dr. Sarah Schuback


Brushing your teeth. Mouth Healthy TM. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth.

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