For most of us, brushing one’s teeth is already second nature. You don’t have to think about it that much. But toothbrushing might not be as commonsensical as you’d think it to be. While you may believe you are brushing your teeth properly, you could be harming them.
According to Gillette and Van House, the wrong use of oral implements (such as dental floss, toothbrushes, and water-irrigation devices) could have harmful effects on your dental health. Excessive brushing with the wrong type of toothbrush could cause tooth abrasion and gum recession. These problems, in turn, could leave the teeth open to other kinds of diseases.
All this could be prevented with the right toothbrush technique. With the right approach, you thoroughly clean the teeth without harm. If improper technique weakens the teeth, properly brushing your teeth fortifies it against any vulnerabilities.
How, then, do you brush your teeth properly? Here are some guidelines.
Prep your teeth with some floss and fluoride toothpaste
Benjamin Franklin had said that if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Preparation is then an essential part of your brushing technique.
Before you brush your teeth, scour them with some dental floss. This motion will not only remove leftover food particles but will also take off any plaque build-up between your teeth.
Aside from flossing, having the right implements at hand could also enhance your brushing experience. We talked about how choosing the right toothbrush for your child can encourage them to brush their teeth more. The same goes for adults. Choose a toothbrush with soft, thin bristles to protect your gums and thoroughly clean your teeth. The thinness helps the bristles slide between your teeth, allowing them to clean in-between while gently massaging your gums.
When choosing toothpaste, always opt for one with the approved amount of fluoride. We touched on how fluoride can strengthen and protect your teeth from tooth decay. If your state does not have fluoridated water, brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste could give you the supplements you need.
Brush from back to front, up to down, left to right
Now that you’ve made the needed preparations, it’s time to get into the actual technique. When brushing your teeth, take note of the following directions: back to front, top to bottom, left to right.
- Back to front. When brushing your teeth, start with the back molars before heading to the front. This orientation can also refer to the back of your teeth. When you brush your teeth, then, start with the insides of your back molars first before heading to the front teeth. You can then clean the front of the rows.
- Top to bottom. Typically, you start with the top row of teeth before moving on to the bottom row. You then start with the inside of the high back molar, clean it from back to front, then proceed to the bottom row.
- Left to right. Finally, when brushing your teeth, you start from the leftmost tooth to the rightmost. Your orientation then is as follows: start with the inside of the left top back molar, then brush until you reach the right top back molar. Clean the front area the same way. Then, proceed with the left bottom back molar and repeat the process.
When brushing your teeth, it’s recommended that you keep the brush at a 45-degree angle and make circular movements. Once done, you can brush your tongue and the insides of your teeth before rinsing. Et voilà! You’ve got a clean set of teeth ready for the world to see.