Proper tooth brushing involves many different elements. Perhaps the most basic is proper tooth brushing which involves a toothbrush with soft bristles, toothpaste with fluoride, the correct angle of brushing, and brushing in a pattern. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your brushing sessions.
It’s important to brush at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush. The flexible bristles of a soft toothbrush are gentler on the gums and make it much easier to remove the plaque below the gum line, where periodontal disease starts.
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride hardens the outer enamel layer of the teeth. It might stop a cavity in its tracks and give you more resistance to future cavities.
Angle the bristles of the brush along the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Apply firm but gentle pressure so the bristles slide under the gum line.
Move the brush over the entire surface of two or three teeth at a time in small, circular motions. Allow some overlap as you move to the next teeth. Tilt the brush and use the tip to brush the backs of the front teeth.
It’s fine to brush in any regular pattern you choose, but since the insides of the teeth tend to get less attention, you might start with the insides of the upper teeth, then go to the insides of the lower teeth. Switch to the outsides of the upper teeth, and then the outsides of the lower teeth. Brush the chewing surfaces of the upper teeth, then the lower teeth. End by gently brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth. This removes germs to help keep your breath fresh.
Besides brushing the next step in proper oral care is flossing. Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gumline and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended.
To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:
Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue
Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth