- Your Oral Health
- Tips for Parents
- Gum Disease and Your Health
- Reduced Cost Clinics
Brushing will remove dental biofilm (plaque) and other food particles from your teeth. Biofilm plays a primary role in the development of tooth decay and gum disease. The best way to remove biofilm is with daily brushing and flossing.
How To Brush:
The following brushing technique is commonly recommended by dental hygienists. You should visit your dental hygienist to ensure that you are using a technique that meets your needs.
- Use a soft nylon bristled brush.
- Place the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the teeth. Slide the tips of the brush under the gums.
- Jiggle the bristles very gently so that any plaque under the gum will be removed. Your toothbrush will only clean one or two teeth at a time. Change its position to properly clean each tooth.
- Be sure to brush the outside, the tongue side and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- For the front teeth, brush the inside surfaces by tilting the brush lengthwise and making several up and down strokes with the front part of the brush over the teeth and gum tissues.
- Brushing your tongue will help freshen your breath. Food particles and bacteria can collect on your tongue and cause bad breath. A few light strokes in a forward direction are all that is needed.
Be sure to brush at least twice every day; once in the morning and before bed. A thorough brushing should take at least 3 minutes.
Brushing the teeth too vigorously or using a hard bristled toothbrush may cause the gums to pull away and expose root surfaces. It may also wear down the tooth surface. Both of these conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is all you need.
Replace your brush every 3 months or when the bristles begin to spread and look ragged. A worn out toothbrush will not properly clean your teeth. You also need to replace your toothbrush after you get sick (ie. after a cold) in order to prevent being sick again.