The right way to brush

You brush every day. But do you do it the right way?

woman brushing teethBrushing your teeth is an everyday routine that nobody misses. And you only reap maximum benefits from brushing if you do it the right way. By simply doing it right you can prevent a lot of dental complications like cavities, plaques, gum diseases and tartar. Brushing along with regular flossing, cleaning and check-up is the perfect solution for maintaining dental health.

Now that we understand the role brushing plays in dental hygiene, why not make the most of it? Let me list a few tips that can make this daily routine even more effective for you.

Do it right

The best way of brushing is as follows:

  • Choose a brush that suits you best—soft, medium or hard bristles.
  • Put the brush into your mouth at a 45-degree angle against your gum line. Then start brushing using short and gentle strokes, as doing it too hard will create problems like weak gums, loose and sensitive teeth in the long run. It is best to brush in and up-down direction, beginning from where your gums and teeth meet to the chewing surface of the teeth.
  • Clean all parts of your mouth—teeth, gums, tongue—one at a time.
  • Use short sweeping strokes to clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Do not miss any pits or crevices.
  • Hold your brush at 90-degree and clean the interiors of your front teeth [both top and bottom].
  • Brush the roof of your mouth and also your tongue in the forward direction. These are the breeding grounds for most bacteria.
  • Brush for a full 2 – 3 minutes. Keep a timer in case you find it difficult to keep track of the time.
  • Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash. Fluoride keeps a check on the bacteria in your mouth thus preventing the formation of cavities, plaques and other dental hazards.
  • Change your toothbrush every three months. In fact, dentists say that you must change your toothbrush soon after recovering from any infection. This is because the bristles hold on to the germs, which can lead to a re-infection.

Here are some guidelines for brushing the teeth of toddlers:

  • Brush their teeth at the same time everyday. This will make them realise that brushing is an important and unavoidable routine of the day.
  • Allow them to use not more than a small pea-size of toothpaste. Most children end up eating the toothpaste and that causes teeth stains.
  • Let your child choose his/her own toothbrush—maybe of his/her favourite colour or cartoon character. This will make brushing fun and s/he will look forward to it.
  • Teach your child good dental habits and the importance of dental hygiene.
Shantanu Jaradi
Shantanu Jaradi is an aesthetic dentist. He specialises in complex smile makeovers and smile enhancement cases. He is also the Director of the state-of-the-art Dentzz Dental Care Centres in Mumbai.


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