Am I brushing my teeth correctly?

 

This might sound like a silly question to ask yourself, but believe it or not approximately 9 out of 10 people are actually failing to brush their teeth correctly. Many factors come into brushing teeth, whether it’s having a busy day to day schedule or just simply not knowing the correct technique. We were all taught from a young age to brush our teeth twice a day, which isn’t wrong but research has come a long way in the last 50 years and we are now more equipped with evidence-based studies to prove that there is a BEST way to brush our teeth.

 

What Toothbrush should I use?

Manual VS electric

Manual Toothbrush
  • Manual toothbrushes are cheap to buy but they will need replacing every 2-3 months
  • Make sure you are using a soft-medium bristle brush to stop the risk of damage to your enamel and gums
  • Manual toothbrushes are technique sensitive, if they are not used in the correct way you will be more than likely be leaving plaque behind
Electric Toothbrush
  • Electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manual but will last you 2-4 year’s possibly even longer. There are many to choose from but my personal choice would be an ORAL B. All models will provide a good performance so it’s just personal preference on what you choose. Toothbrush heads will still need to be changed every 2-3 months
  • A circular oscillating toothbrush head is the perfect size to brush 1 tooth at a time, meaning plaque removal is much higher
  • Because they are powered by a motor they will provide the correct technique needed without you having to actually perform the technique
  • Many Electric toothbrushes come with different brushing modes and Bluetooth functions. The Bluetooth function will help you monitor your technique and time spent brushing. The most important factor being the time spent as we all know we sometimes rush brushing our teeth.

A good brushing technique can be gained from using either but studies have shown that using an electric oscillating toothbrush is more effective at removing plaque and I couldn’t imagine life without one.

 

What Brushing technique should I be doing?

Manual tooth brushing

  • Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45-degree angle against your gum line. Move the brush in small circular movements for approximately 5-10 seconds per tooth surface
  • Work systematically. From 1 side of your mouth to the other. Straying with the Outside surfaces, then the chewing surfaces and finally the inside surfaces.
  • Do this again for the upper jaw
  • To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make small, circular movements with the front part of the brush
  • You should be spending between 4-5 minutes brushing your teeth to remove plaque build-up
  • Brush your tongue to help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.

 

Electric tooth brushing

  • Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45-degree angle against your gum line
  • Simply turn on and away you go
  • You should be spending approximately 5-10 seconds on each tooth surface
  • You should be spending between 4-5 minutes brushing your teeth to remove plaque build-up. Your electric toothbrush will come with a 2.5 minute timer built in so simply just spend 2.5 minutes on each arch
  • To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make small, circular movements with the front part of the brush

 

 

Whatever you decide to use, by following these instructions you will be preventing the risk of dental decay and gum disease. Any further questions or if you would like an appointment with our oral health educators, contact the practice.

 

Written by our Senior Dental Nurse and Oral Health Educator, Holly Mayne.