How to Brush Your Teeth
The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. You always want to use a soft brush with a small head. A soft brush is hard enough to remove plaque, yet gentle enough not to damage your teeth or gums.
The next step is to select good toothpaste. In general, any toothpaste that contains fluoride will do the job, unless you have special needs, like dry mouth, extensive decay, sensitivity, gum disease, etc., that are determined by your dentist. There are specific toothpastes that address these needs.
Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your brush, especially for younger brushers. An adequate brushing should take at least 2 minutes. The first rule of brushing is to start from one side of your mouth and work your way to the opposite side, this way you won’t miss any area.
There are a variety of techniques for brushing your teeth, but one of the most popular ones is described here:
- Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle toward the teeth and gums
- Gently brush 2-3 teeth at a time using circular motions. Repeat this motion for about 10 seconds and move on to the next area of 2 to 3 teeth.
- If your mouth is full of foam, spit it out and continue brushing. Your brushing is completed when you have brushed all the surfaces of your teeth, not when your mouth is full!
- On chewing surfaces, use short, scrubbing strokes to get plaque out of grooves and pits.
- When brushing the back side of your front teeth, hold your brush vertically and brush in straight strokes instead of circular to reach the teeth better.
Ideally brush your teeth after each meal; but if you can’t, brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed.