You may think you know how to brush your teeth, but you may be surprised. Remember you should brush for at least two minutes.
Starting at the back, position the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, direct the bristles at the margin where the gum and teeth meet. Gently brush in a circular motion. Be careful not to brush too hard and avoid scrubbing from side to side. Scrubbing too hard and particularly in a side to side motion can cause damage to the tooth enamel and can cause your gums to recede over a period of time.
• Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth.
• Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth – This step is often missed
• Clean the biting surfaces
• And don’t forget to brush your tongue too. Brushing your tongue reduces bacteria in your mouth, helping your breathe stay fresh. To brush your tongue, push the bristles on the tongue and gently brush forward to the tip.
– images courtesy of Colgate
If you use an electric powered toothbrush, position the toothbrush at the same 45 degree angle and ensure the bristles are positioned where the gum and teeth meet. Electric toothbrushes supply all the movement for you. All you need to do is simply guide the brush slowly from tooth to tooth, stopping for a few seconds on each one. Do this for every surface for each tooth.
When you have finished, spit out the toothpaste and don’t rinse with water. Leaving some toothpaste on your teeth gives your teeth some extra ongoing protection.
We prefer the small head Colgate ultra compact head toothbrush. This toothbrush has a smaller head to reach tighter areas. At the same time it is not so small that you feel like it is a baby toothbrush. As a manual toothbrush, we find the circular inserts work in a similar way to our dental cleaning tools.
Replacing your brush should take place when the bristles start to spread apart, or every three months, whichever comes first.
At least twice daily. Brush in the morning and at night before bed.
It’s all in the timing – you should brush for at least two minutes.
It is a common mistake for people to think that pressing harder on your teeth cleans them better. The fact is, too much pressure and ‘scrubbing’ can damage your gums and tooth enamel. A good indicator is if the bristles on your toothbrush are wearing out quickly and well before the three month mark.
We recommend flossing first before brushing. By doing so, you remove plaque and debris from between your teeth. These surfaces then become accessible to clean when you brush.
Although it is not critical which order, the important thing is that you do both.
Wanting to also learn how to floss? Click through to find out more.