Your teeth should be brushed a minimum of two times per day. A good practice is to brush in the morning and again before going to bed. The ideal toothbrush is small enough to reach all of the “nooks and crannies” of your teeth and gums, and has soft, rounded-end bristles. Be sure that the bristles are soft enough that they will not cause damage to gum tissue. It is also important that you replace your brush frequently – at least every three months. The ADA (American Dental Association) has approved the use of electric toothbrushes, and has determined that their oscillating or rotating heads provide more effective cleaning action than “regular” toothbrushes.
The following basic guide will aid you in practicing proper brushing techniques:
- Begin with the toothbrush at an approximate 45-degree angle where the teeth meet the gums.
- Gently brush the gum-line and teeth, using small, circular motions.
- Do not apply heavy pressure to “scrub” the teeth. Excessive pressure and scrubbing may cause damage to gums and tooth enamel.
- Be sure to clean every surface of each tooth—tongue side, cheek-side, and chewing surfaces. Focus especially on the surfaces of the back teeth, where it’s more difficult to reach all surfaces.
- When brushing the chewing surfaces, use back and forth strokes.
- Don’t forget to brush the tongue, as fungi, food and debris may adhere to it, as well.