How good are you at Brushing your Teeth?

When you brush teeth, you may not give much thought to how you brush your teeth, beyond putting some toothpaste on your brush and giving them a bit of a scrub. But, how you brush teeth matters a great deal.  How often you brush, how long you brush teeth, the kind of technique and the toothbrush you use all impact on the effectiveness of your brushing.


Which Toothbrush Should I Use?

To brush teeth use a Soft-bristled toothbrushes with a small head and a flexible neck are the most effective in removing plaque and food from your teeth, without damaging your teeth and gums.

If you use an electric powered toothbrush, try using a small round head, with soft bristles. For electric toothbrushes we recommend Oral B.


How Should I Brush my Teeth?

Starting at the back, position the toothbrush at a 45° angle, positioning the bristles at the margin where the gum and your teeth meet. Brush gently in a circular motion. Don’t brush too hard and avoid scrubbing from side to side. This is because scrubbing too hard, particularly in a side to side motion can cause damage to the tooth enamel and can cause your gums to recede over a period of time.

Take care to clean every surface of each tooth including the chewing surfaces. Also make sure you tip the toothbrush so you can reach the inner areas of the teeth, top and bottom, which are often missed.

If you use an electric powered toothbrush, position the toothbrush at the same 45° angle and where the gum and teeth meet. The big advantage of electric toothbrushes is their oscillating-rotating heads supply all the movement for you. All you need to do is simply guide the brush slowly from tooth to tooth, stopping for a few seconds on each one. Do this for every surface for each tooth.

And don’t forget to brush your tongue. It may seem strange at first but brushing your tongue reduces the bacteria in your mouth and helps your breath stay fresh. All you need to do is push the bristles on the tongue and gently brush forward.

When you have finished brushing, try to spit out the toothpaste and don’t rinse with water. Leaving some toothpaste on your teeth gives your teeth some extra ongoing protection.


How Long Should I Brush my Teeth for?

It’s all in the timing – you should brush for at least two minutes.


How Often Should I Brush?

At least twice daily. Brush in the morning and at night before bed.


When to Replace your Toothbrush?

Replacing your brush should take place when the bristles start to spread apart, or every three months, whichever comes first.


Am I Pressing too Hard?

It is a common mistake for people to think that pressing harder on your teeth cleans them better. The fact is, too much pressure and ‘scrubbing’ can damage your gums and tooth enamel.  A good indicator is if the bristles on your toothbrush are wearing out quickly and well before the three month mark.


Brush or Floss First?

It is recommended to floss first before brushing. By doing so, you remove plaque and debris from between your teeth. These surfaces then become accessible to clean when you brush.
Although it is not critical which order, the important thing is that you do both.


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