Brushing your teeth removes food particles and harmful oral bacteria to keep your mouth clean and healthy. We often talk about the importance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, but do you really know how to properly brush? Ask the hygienists at Brighton Family Dental Group for help choosing the best oral hygiene products and routine for your mouth.

How to Brush Your Teeth

Use this step-by-step guide to help keep your pearly whites sparkling.

  1. Run water over your toothbrush to soften the bristles.
  2. Apply a pea-sized amount of a fluoridated toothpaste onto the bristles.
  3. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush the surfaces of your teeth gently using a circular motion. Start on one side of your mouth and brush each tooth for 5-10 seconds until you reach the other side.
  4. Turn the toothbrush parallel to your gums to gently brush along your gum line.
  5. After brushing the outer surfaces of your teeth, angle the brush so you can comfortably reach the inside and chewing surfaces.
  6. Be sure to brush all upper and lower teeth, your tongue, your gums, and the roof of your mouth.
  7. Once you finish brushing all your teeth, go back over certain teeth, if necessary. The correct brushing process should take about three minutes to effectively clean your teeth.
  8. Spit out the toothpaste and rinse your mouth with water.
  9. Rinse extra debris and toothpaste off your brush and store it upright in an open environment to dry before your next use.

What to Avoid

These common brushing mistakes will do more harm than good.

  • Not using the right toothbrush.  Make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles and a comfortable handle to make your brushing experience easier.
  • Not brushing long enough. The average person brushes for less than a minute, but you should brush for at least two to three minutes.
  • Not brushing often enough. You should brush your teeth at least two times a day.
  • Brushing too hard or too soft. You need to use the right amount of pressure to remove bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing too gently won’t remove stuck-on plaque, and brushing too hard could damage your enamel or gums.
  • Not brushing all areas of your mouth. Bacteria can build up on all the surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue and gums. Clean away all oral microbes to keep your mouth healthy and fresh.
  • Improper toothbrush care. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed. You need to take care of your brush so that it works properly in cleaning your mouth.

Brushing is only effective if you do it correctly. And remember, even if you brush properly every day, you still need a professional cleaning by Dr. Villani every six months. Contact Brighton Family Dental Group in Brighton, MA, at (617) 562-5210 to schedule an appointment.