Is There a Right Way to Brush Your Teeth?

When brushing your teeth, you may think that it doesn’t matter how well you brush as long as you’re brushing. However, it’s important to brush your teeth correctly—and yes, there is a right way to brush your teeth! Brushing your teeth correctly can reduce the chances that you’d harm your tooth enamel and your gum tissue. Proper brushing can also help you clean your teeth better, leading to a healthier smile.

So what’s the right way to brush your teeth? Here are a few steps you can take to get started to brushing your teeth the correct way.

Brush at a 45-Degree Angle

Brushing teeth at a 45-degree angle effectively removes plaque and makes it easier to clean your gumline [1]. Angling your toothbrush this way can help keep both your teeth and gums clean. When brushing your upper row of teeth, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle upward, and when brushing the bottom row, angle it downward toward the gumline.

Move the Brush in Short Strokes

When you brush your teeth, try not to use longer strokes. Use short strokes about the size of your teeth. Using an electric toothbrush can make it easier to focus on each tooth in shorter strokes instead of doing long, sweeping manual movements with a regular toothbrush. Choosing a brush head that’s the most appropriate size for your teeth may also make using more concise strokes easier.

Make Sure to Clean the Backs of Your Teeth

To clean all the surfaces of your teeth, tilt your toothbrush vertically and use it to clean the backs of your teeth in the front of your mouth. These are areas that people often miss when brushing their teeth. Although brushing the chewing surfaces of your teeth is just as important, be sure you don’t miss the backs of your front teeth [2].

Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush doesn’t just help protect your teeth and gums while cleaning them. Toothbrushes with softer bristles may also do a better job of cleaning teeth, especially between the teeth and near the gumline. Remember when choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush that not every brush is the same softness, so you may need to experiment and choose one that feels right for you [3].

After Eating, Wait to Brush Your Teeth

Some people think brushing their teeth immediately after eating is the best way to prevent tooth decay and enamel damage. However, the opposite is true. Tooth enamel is porous, and what you eat affects how strong your tooth enamel is.

For example, when consuming acidic foods and drinks, tooth enamel is weaker. When you brush immediately after eating or drinking, your tooth enamel may be more at risk to be damaged. Wait at least an hour after eating or consuming acidic drinks before brushing your teeth [4]!

Follow Up With Your Dentist

Your dentist can help you determine how well you’re brushing your teeth during your next checkup and cleaning. By using a soft-bristled toothbrush, cleaning the backs of your teeth, and brushing at a 45-degree angle, you can ensure your teeth and gums are clean and healthy!

Sources:
1. https://evidencebasedliving.human.cornell.edu/2014/08/25/how-to-brush-your-teeth/
2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth
3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/brushing-up-on-brushing
4. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/brushing-mistakes-slideshow/

Summary
Article Name
Is There a Right Way to Brush Your Teeth?
Description
When brushing your teeth, you may think that it doesn’t matter how well you brush as long as you’re brushing. However, it’s important to brush your teeth correctly—and yes, there is a right way to brush your teeth!
Author
Laguna Pavilion Dental