Brushing Your Teeth

Tooth brushing is very important for healthy teeth and gums. It is best to brush your teeth 2 times a day- first thing in the morning and last thing at night before bed. A good toothbrushing habit should be started at a very early age.

We recommend that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice daily. This will ensure that the bacteria layer that builds on the surface of your teeth, called plaque, is regularly removed. Plaque attaches itself to the surface of your teeth and feeds on sugars in your food and drinks. If plaque is not removed regularly you will get tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth brushing should be followed by dental flossing or using interdental brushes.

Ideally you should brush your teeth before breakfast and just before you go to bed at night.

We recommend that you use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is the special ingredient in toothpaste that protects against tooth decay. You should choose a toothbrush that you are comfortable with but you can ask your dentist to recommend one if you are unsure.

Generally a medium bristled brush with a small head is suitable for most people. Electric tooth brushes with small, round oscillating or rotating heads are also recommended.

Instructions For Tooth Brushing

The British Dental Health Foundation gives the following advice on how to brush your teeth:

  1. Put a pea sized amount of toothpaste on your dry tooth brush.
  2. Position the tooth brush half on the tooth and half on the gumline.
  3. Hold the head of your toothbrush against your teeth with the bristle tips at a 45 degree angle to the gum line.
  4. Move the brush in small circular movements several times on every surface of each tooth.
  5. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth keeping the bristles angled against the gum line.
  6. Use the same method on the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
  7. Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with the same circular movements.
  8. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth tilt the brush up vertically, up and down, and make several small circular strokes with the front part of the brush.
  9. Brushing your tongue will freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.
  10. Spit out the toothpaste DON’T rise your mouth.

Wetting the toothbrush and rinsing after brushing reduces the amount of fluoride that stays on your teeth. This makes brushing less effective.

To see this technique in action follow this link for a tooth brushing demo:

If you are still unsure, please ask your dentist for advice.