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How to Brush Your Teeth Properly: A Definitive Guide

26 Jun 2023

Brushing your teeth. It’s something that you probably do every morning without thinking. And, it’s something you may do again at night. You’ve been doing it for your whole life, and it’s an embedded habit. 

Although maintaining this routine is something we should applaud, it’s often something that we do so frequently and without thought that we don’t realise we’re cutting corners or that we’re not maximising the potential for a cleaner, healthier smile.

Don’t wait until issues with the way you brush your teeth have affected your oral health. With a few minor changes, you can improve your routine. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss the best practices for brushing your teeth. 

Understand the Importance of Brushing

Before delving into the right way to brush your teeth; it’s important to understand why you’re doing it. Inside all our mouths, there are countless types of bacteria. Some bacteria are good for us, while others can harm our oral health. These bacteria are natural. While you can never rid yourself of bacteria, you can manage it with regular, thorough brushing. 

When you eat, bacteria feed on sugars and starches left on your teeth. The combination of a bacteria called streptococcus mutans, food debris, and saliva results in plaque, a sticky substance that constantly forms in your mouth and coats your teeth. 

Left to it, acids formed by the bacteria in the plaque start to erode dental enamel, causing tooth decay and gum disease. Over time, the plaque will harden to form tartar, or calculus, a thicker, harder substance that binds to your teeth, causing discolouration. 

Regular, thorough brushing removes plaque and prevents dental problems. 

Give Yourself Adequate Brushing Time

We know brushing can feel like a chore. When you’ve got somewhere you need to be in the morning, it’s easy to skimp on brushing your teeth, cutting corners, and missing out on a full thorough clean. Similarly, at night, it’s easy to rush the brush if you’ve had a long day.

It’s important to give yourself enough time for a thorough clean whenever you brush. Your morning clean will clear away bacteria that’s built up in the night while freshening your breath. Brushing at night removes any debris so bacteria can’t feed on it while you sleep. 

When brushing, give yourself two minutes. Once, first thing in the morning, and again just before bed. It might help to set a timer. Some electric toothbrushes have timers or can connect to apps that optimise your clean! While cleaning, ensure you focus on brushing each tooth from every angle. 

Use a Fluoride Toothpaste 

There have never been so many toothpaste options. When choosing toothpaste, it’s easy to get taken in by marketing ploys that promote a brighter smile or fresher breath. While these selling points are nice, the fundamental detail to look at needs to be the toothpaste’s fluoride content. 

All toothpaste serves to remove plaque, but those with fluoride have additional benefits. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. When added to toothpaste, it strengthens tooth enamel, adding extra protection against tooth decay. 

Use a Good Toothbrush

The next thing to consider is your toothpaste. Many people choose electric toothbrushes as they can make the task easier, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a manual toothbrush either. 

Choose a toothbrush you like the look and feel of. Your toothbrush needs to be comfortable, and its head needs to be the right size to reach every part of your mouth. 

Next, look at the bristles. A soft toothbrush is often the best choice, as the bristles won’t irritate your gums and create a more pleasant brushing experience. 

Replace Your Toothbrush Every Few Months

If you clean your teeth twice a day, you’ll use your brush at least 60 times a month. The wear and tear on its bristles will soon show, and after a few months, the brush will be less effective. 

It’s important to change your brush roughly every three months or before if your tooth becomes excessively worn. The same rule applies to changing electric toothbrush heads. 

Brush Up On Your Technique

Technique is where many people fall down when it comes to brushing their teeth. Brush gently and move from tooth to tooth to slow you down so you don’t miss any spots. Brushing at a 45-degree angle against the gumline will help you tackle plaque that’s trapped at the edge of your teeth. 

Next, brush the backs of your teeth. Again, use a 45-degree angle and clean right to the gum line. Finally, clean the biting and chewing surfaces of your teeth. 

Brushing vigorously can cause more harm than good. Brushing gently removes plaque while preserving your enamel. 

Brush Your Tongue

Your tongue is also a haven for bacteria. By brushing your tongue, you’ll remove the bacteria that cause bad breath. Many toothbrushes have a special tongue-scraping area on the back of the head designed for this task. For more thorough cleaning, you can buy special tongue scrapers. 

Don’t Rinse Your Mouth 

After brushing your mouth, you may feel naturally inclined to rinse away the toothpaste. Don’t. Rinsing dilutes and removes the fluoride from your mouth. This means that you won’t get the full benefit from it. 

Book a Hygiene Appointment

To maintain a bright, fresh, healthy smile, we recommend coming for regular hygiene visits. During these appointments, our hygienist will use Prophyflex treatment that uses air, carbonated particles, and water to give you a thorough clean that a toothbrush can’t achieve. 

A professional clean is essential for removing tartar buildups, as brushing alone will not clear this. 

Come and See Us for a Checkup 

It’s important to make regular appointments so we can give your teeth and gums and thorough checkup. Checkups are essential as they allow us the opportunity to spot any problems before they become symptomatic. 

During your appointment, we can answer any questions you may have and give you advice on brushing and your choice of toothpaste and toothbrush. 

General Dental Care at Love Teeth

At Love Teeth, we’re here to help you maintain the best possible standards of dental health. Call us today to schedule a checkup or hygiene appointment at our clinics in Cheam, Chessington, Stonecot, Sutton, or Worcester Park.


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