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.

toothbrush in Jersey Citytoothbrush 2
toothbrush3toothbrush4

Next, select a good toothpaste. In general, any toothpaste approved by the ADA (non-fluoridated before the age of two, and fluoridated thereafter) will do the job, unless you have special needs that are determined by your dentist.

The first rule of brushing is to start from a specific location and work your way to the opposite side, continuing all the way through the whole mouth so that you end where you started. This way you won’t miss any area. Usually a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is enough. An adequate brushing should at least take 2 minutes and preferably around 4 minutes.

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 press against the gums so the tips of the bristles go in between the gum and the teeth. Then apply a few lateral strokes and roll down the brush to sweep the plaque away from the teeth and the gum. Repeat this motion 6 to 10 times and move on to the next area of 2 to 3 teeth. If your mouth is full of foam, spit 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, short strokes work best to get the plaque out of the grooves and pits. When brushing the back side of your front teeth, hold your brush vertically to be able to reach the teeth better.

As far as frequency of brushing is concerned, ideally you want to brush your teeth after each meal. But if you can’t, brush at least twice a day- after breakfast and before going to bed. If you live in or around Hudson County give us a call today to schedule your oral health exam.

PARENTS – When should you start brushing your children’s teeth? The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively and should be assisted and/or periodically supervised well into adolescence. Children should always spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

Go back to Patient Education