Regular tooth brushing is an important part of your preventive dental home care routine. Everyone should brush their teeth at least twice each day:
- in the morning, usually after breakfast
- at night before going to bed.
Tips for Better Brushing
Everyone knows that brushing teeth is one of the most important things you can do each day to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. But it’s not as simple as grabbing a toothbrush and giving teeth a quick scrub.
This video, created by the Australian Dental Association, provides ten tips for better brushing.
The Australian Dental Association recommends the following approach:
Use a small, soft brush.
Hard ones can damage your teeth and gums. Stiff-bristled brushes might be suitable for scrubbing areas of the house, but the human mouth is more delicate. The best brush has a smaller head (to navigate the natural curves of the teeth and access the back teeth), and soft, flexible bristles with rounded ends.
Use just one pea-sized blob of toothpaste.
This is the correct amount for adults and older children to use, but children (2-3 years old) should use less. We explain this in our article When Should Kids Start Cleaning Their Teeth?
Introduce some music
For timing (and for fun) listen to music and brush for the duration of a short song you enjoy.
Tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle so the bristles are cleaning slightly under your gums
This is one of the reasons why using a toothbrush with soft bristles is so important. Soft bristles are flexible and can gently “sweep” the gumline, which removes more plaque.
Brush gently in circles.
Gently brush around each tooth in circles. Or, if you have an electric toothbrush, just hold around each tooth for three seconds. Manual and electric toothbrushes are both very good at removing plaque from teeth, as long as they’re used and positioned correctly. Dr Teo is happy to help you refine your technique with either type of brush.
Count all segments as you go…
Inside, outside and chewing surfaces – upper and lower. If you use an orderly sequence you won’t miss any surface.
Don’t miss your inside front teeth.
Brush up and down to reach these properly. This is one of the most difficult areas to clean because it requires you to hold the brush vertically instead of horizontally.
Finish by brushing your tongue to remove bacteria from your mouth.
The tongue harbours a lot of bacteria, so a twice-daily brush can make the mouth feel fresher and cleaner. You don’t need to use extra toothpaste; a few gentle brushing strokes is all that is needed.
Avoid rinsing so your toothpaste keeps working for longer.
It’s OK just to spit out any excess toothpaste. The longer the toothpaste is in contact with your teeth, the better.
Now do it all again!
Brush at least twice each day and floss at least once.
Establishing the Tooth-Brushing Habit
For many of us, this twice-daily brushing habit is already present, formed as the result of years of practice, often introduced and reinforced by the teachings of our parents. If you see a dentist regularly, they can help you refine your technique as your mouth changes.
If brushing isn’t happening on a twice-daily schedule for every member of your household, maybe it’s time to set up some reminders to re-establish the habit.
Try A Brushing App
One way to do this is to use an App on your smartphone. A great one to try is Brush DJ.
This App includes many great features:
- You can set reminders for brushing twice a day
- The App opens by reminding you to clean in between your teeth (using floss or interdental brushes) first
- Then it selects a song from your device’s playlist, and plays it for 2 minutes whilst you are brushing. This means you get to brush whilst listening to your favourite tunes!
- You can also set reminders for when to change your toothbrush and when to visit your dentist.
You can learn more about it by watching this video.
We’re Here To Help Every Member of the Family to Brush Better
Dr Teo believes that it’s much better to prevent dental disease than to allow it to develop. So she’s here to help people of every age and ability to improve their home dental care.