Is There a Correct Way to Brush Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth is a task you likely don’t give too much thought to. You brush your teeth in the morning and at night, and that’s good enough—right?

What many people don’t consider is how they’re brushing their teeth. While brushing twice a day for two minutes each time is certainly helpful at removing plaque and preventing oral disease, the truth is that how you brush your teeth is just as important as when and how often you brush them.

So what’s the correct way to brush your teeth? By adopting the proper techniques, your smile will be squeaky clean in no time!

Brush at an Angle

First, before brushing your teeth, it’s best to wait approximately one hour after eating. If 30 minutes is all you can manage, then that’s fine, but if you’ve eaten something especially acidic, such as tomato sauce, lemons, or sugary sweets, 60 minutes is ideal [1].

Immediately after eating, your enamel can be softer after being exposed to the foods or drinks you’ve consumed. Your tooth enamel has pores, meaning it can essentially “absorb” what you eat—this is one of the ways teeth get nutrients, but it’s also how tooth enamel can stain.

So to protect your tooth enamel, give it some time before picking up the toothbrush! Once it’s time to brush, aim your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle down towards your gums. This technique helps clean both your teeth and your gumline, where plaque is prone to accumulating.

Use Shorter Strokes

When brushing, many people use rough, longer brushing motions in which they aim to cover several teeth at once. You might be surprised to hear that this actually isn’t the correct way to brush your teeth!

Your toothbrush strokes should be short—only as wide as your tooth, in fact [2]. Using shorter strokes allows you to focus on each individual tooth and the quality of your brushing rather than trying to cover several teeth at once. Give it a try next time you brush!

Clean All Surfaces

Make sure you clean all the surfaces of your teeth. These include the sides, the chewing surface, and the insides of your upper and lower front teeth by using a vertical brushing motion. Smaller brushing strokes will make it easier for you to cover each surface, effectively removing plaque and reducing your chances of tooth decay and gum disease.

However, your toothbrush can’t reach in-between your teeth, which is why flossing is so necessary! Letting plaque, bacteria, and food particles accumulate in these areas can not only increase your risk for gum disease and cavities, but can cause chronic bad breath as well.

Are You Brushing Correctly?

Your brushing routine is essential to the health of your teeth, and it helps remove surface stains for a whiter smile and healthy gums too! Are you brushing your teeth correctly? Your dental hygienist can tell which areas you’re missing during your next checkup and cleaning and help you better your routine for a truly clean smile!

Sources:
1. https://www.dentalhealth.org/diet-and-my-teeth
2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth

Summary
Is There a Correct Way to Brush Your Teeth?
Article Name
Is There a Correct Way to Brush Your Teeth?
Description
What’s the correct way to brush your teeth? By adopting the proper techniques, your smile will be squeaky clean in no time!
Author
Centreville Dental Wellness Center