What is the benefit of using the correct toothbrushing technique?
You may have brushed your teeth a certain way for most of your life without any issues. You may have never had a cavity in your life as well with your current oral home care, so why learn how to brush correctly now?
Using the proper toothbrushing technique not only ensures that you get the best possible clean, but it also helps to maintain your gums and teeth from abnormal wear. By brushing using the correct method, you can avoid dental issues, such as abfraction, tooth abrasion and notching of the enamel.
What is the correct way to brush my teeth?
There are a few ways to brush your teeth, to ensure that they are being cleaned properly, but we will focus on the technique that applies to most people. Some patients may have exposed tooth root surfaces or periodontal gum pockets, which may require a modified version of the technique. If you have been told that you have periodontal pockets or exposed root surfaces, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about the best way to brush your teeth and the best tools to use, to ensure you are cleaning adequately.
For most people, a technique called the rolling stroke technique will work best.
With this method, you need to place the bristles of the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle on the gum line of the upper teeth. With moderate pressure placed on the bristles, gently rotate your wrist downwards so that the bristles of the brush, move from the top of your gums to the edge or bottom of the tooth. Repeat this motion 4 or 5 times per tooth and move to the next tooth. When you get to the bottom teeth, angle the toothbrush towards the gums rotate your wrist so that the bristles move from the gum to the edge of the tooth. You may have to hold the toothbrush vertically for the bottom front teeth if the area is too narrow to brush horizontally. Remember to brush the tops of your teeth as well, a back and forth motion is OK for these surfaces.
Your brush will probably make contact with the neighbouring tooth, depending on the size of your toothbrush head, that is fine.
The benefit of this motion, is to take the food debris and bacteria that are trapped at the gum line, and to roll them away from the gumline. If you use a back and forth scrubbing motion or a circular motion, some of the debris and bacteria will not be completely removed.
This method is best when using a manual toothbrush. If you are using an electric toothbrush, follow the instructions that came with the electric toothbrush instead.
If you require help or more information, please contact us or remind your dental health professional to show you at your next appointment.