Do you know that one of the most basic oral hygiene tasks we do on a daily basis, most of us are doing it wrong? We all hear that’s it’s important to brush our teeth twice a day in order to maintain a healthy mouth but did you know that by brushing your teeth the wrong way you can actually be harming your gums.
Most adults are told to brush when we wake up and before bed for about two minutes, but that really doesn’t explain the how? Most of the patients we see simply scrub horizontally with a medium bristled toothbrush and pressure. So what is the right way to brush … the answer isn’t so simple. There are certain techniques used for different types of oral conditions.
In general – Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums for the back teeth and brush using gentle pressure and a horizontal vibratory motion. Roll the toothbrush away from the gums and off of the tooth after a few strokes. For the chewing surfaces of the teeth use a horizontal motion with gentle pressure and for the front teeth use a vertical motion with gentle pressure. Use a sequence that makes sense for you so that you guarantee you brush all your teeth and don’t miss any.
Modification with receding gums – Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle but make sure the bristles are half on the teeth and half on the gums.
Modification for children – Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle but use a circular motion instead of a horizontal movement. Only use a pea sized amount of toothpaste beginning when the child is 3 years old and always supervise children to ensure they aren’t swallowing the toothpaste.
Modifications for orthodontics – In addition to the regular tooth brushing method also do the following. Place the toothbrush bristles at 90-degree angle facing the braces from above and use a gentle circular motion. Repeat the same motion from beneath the braces.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at 905 436 2400 anytime for more information.