Brush all your teeth once a day and you are done. Right? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong! Brushing right takes more than just passing your toothbrush bristles all around your teeth in the morning. Most people do not know how to brush or for how long to brush in order to prevent tooth decay and gum problems. The fact is, there are more bacteria on your gums and tongue than on your teeth and brushing right is brushing your teeth, gums and tongue.
First, the basics
Small-headed brushes can reach all areas of the mouth better – even the hard-to-reach back teeth. It is recommended to use a soft-bristled brush with bristles having rounded tips. Bristles of the brush should be strong enough to remove plaque and soft enough not to damage the teeth and gums. The bristles of a toothbrush with multi-height bristles can reach every corner of your mouth and help you clean your teeth better. A toothbrush with a comfortable grip is easier to hold and will make brushing effective.
Ideally, you should brush your teeth for two to three minutes twice a day. Beware; brushing more often can erode your tooth enamel.
Brushing the right way
Brushing horizontally along the gum line may damage your gums and cause abrasions on the teeth. Divide the mouth into quadrants and spend at least 30 seconds in each region to clean all surfaces. Brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth. And do not forget to clean your tongue – bacteria breed on the grooves and ridges.
Brushing to remove plaque
The most widely accepted and most effective method for plaque removal is as follows:
- Starting at the last tooth at the back of the arch, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle at the gum line with the brush head covering three teeth.
- Use short back-and-forth motions on the teeth and the gums. Now softly brush up and down your teeth around 20 times with short, circular strokes.
- Continue around the arch both on the cheek and tongue sides, three teeth at a time. Brush the teeth in the opposite arch in the same manner.
- To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, insert the brush vertically. To clean the chewing surfaces use short back-and-forth strokes of the brush.
- If you find it difficult to clean the back surface of the last tooth in the quadrant, try using a baby brush in that area, it will reach better due to the small head. Use a tongue cleaner to gently scrape your tongue.