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How to properly brush your teeth

Posted on: May 10 2021

We all know that brushing your teeth is important to remove plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease. What you might not know is how often you brush your teeth, the duration you brush your teeth for, the technique and the toothbrush you use all play a huge part in your dental health.

To gain maximum benefit from brushing your teeth, you should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes each morning and night. Be sure to spend roughly 30 seconds on each quarter of your mouth.

Dedicating an adequate amount of time to brush each and every tooth surface is a simple step you can take to maintain your oral health. If you’re struggling to keep track of how long you’re spending on your brushing routine, then you can always set a two minute countdown timer on your phone or listen to a two-minute pop song – think the likes of Blur’s ‘Song No. 2’.

It’s all in the technique

Most people don’t think too much about how they brush their teeth. It’s a routine we establish from young that usually involves putting some toothpaste on a brush, brushing back and forth, and then rinsing. 

Brushing your teeth is most effective when you approach it systematically. Start at the back of your mouth and place the toothbrush bristle at the gumline or at a 45-degree angle. Continue to brush in a circular motion and then finish with a spit, not a rinse. If you use an electric toothbrush, you should be guiding the moving brush head slowly from tooth to tooth, following the contours of the tooth and the curve of the gums.

Whether you’re using a standard toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, be mindful of the force you use. Brushing with too much force can do more harm than good as it can damage the surface of  your teeth. And as for toothpaste? You don’t need to go overboard, a pea-sized amount is plenty to get the job done.

Tools of the trade

With so many toothbrushes on the market it can be hard to know what to pick. It’s always best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a flexible neck as this will be the most effective brush at removing plaque and debris from your teeth without damaging your teeth and gums and drawing blood. Try to replace your brush at the first sign of wear-and-tear or every three months, whichever comes first. It’s also highly recommended that you replace your toothbrush so you don’t get reinfected by germs that have embedded themselves into the bristles.

If you have braces

It’s recommended that people with braces brush their teeth after every meal using a toothbrush with a soft head. Doing this regularly helps to clean away the food debris and plaque that accumulates in the brackets. The best technique is to hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums, similarly to a standard brushing technique, before moving on to brushing downwards to clean the top of the brackets and then brushing upwards to clean the bottom section.

Next time you need to visit a Cheltenham dentist, remember that here at Park Road Dental we see it as part of our responsibility to ensure that you know how to brush your teeth properly. To book an appointment or ask any questions about your oral health please either email us at [email protected] or give us a call on (03) 9584 4949.