There are a number of effective brushing
techniques. Since tooth position and gum condition vary,
patients are advised to check with their dentist to
determine which is the best one for them.
|What is the correct technique of
||On the outer and inner surfaces, brush
at a 45-degree angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes
against the gum line. (Refer Figure 1)
||On chewing surfaces, hold the brush
flat and brush back and forth. (Refer Figure 2)
||On inside surfaces of the front teeth,
tilt brush vertically and use gentle up and down
strokes. (Refer Figure 3)
||Brush the tongue in a back-to-front
sweeping motion to remove food particles and freshen
|In case of any doubt
consult your dentist as to the correct way of brushing.
What happens if I brush my teeth
Incorrect brushing, such as using a back and forth
motion, can cause the gum surface to recede. It can
also expose the root surface and cause it to wear away.
You also risk receding the gum line.
How often should I brush/floss my
teeth? What is a good hygiene regime?
Brushing and flossing should be done at least twice
daily - morning and night. The following regime is convenient
and can be used as a guide line -
||Pre-rinse with a mouthwash such as Plax
Brush your teeth with a fluoride
toothpaste (your choice) for at least 2 minutes
using the technique described earlier. Rinse with
water and then brush your tongue gently with the
toothbrush. Rinse again with water.
||Floss your teeth as discussed elsewhere.
||Rinse again using either a mouthwash or water.
At what age should I start brushing
my children's teeth?
It is very important for a baby to learn good dental
habits early. But remember it is just as important to
make brushing teeth fun as it is to get them 100% clean.
As soon as the baby permits, start
cleaning his/her mouth with a piece of gauze wrapped
on your finger. This gets the child used to the idea
of oral hygiene at a very early age.
For babies and toddlers a special baby
toothbrush is recommended. It should have very soft
and rounded bristles that will not irritate baby's soft
gums, a small oval head to easily reach all areas of
baby's mouth and a long handle so you can help with
From around 3 years of age it's time
to start using a children's or junior toothbrush. A
good children's toothbrush will have a small oval head,
soft and rounded bristles and a long handle. You should
still help with tooth brushing because it's not until
a child is about 10 years that he has sufficient fine
motor control to brush alone.
Teeth should be brushed twice a day
for at least two minutes each time. You should also
introduce your child to dental floss early so they become
proficient at cleaning the areas in between teeth where
plaque builds up.
What toothbrush do you recommend?
In general, a toothbrush head should be small (1"
by 1/2") for easy access. It should have a long,
wide handle for a firm grasp. It should have soft, nylon
bristles with round ends. Some brushes are too abrasive
and can wear down teeth. A soft, rounded, multi-tufted
brush can clean teeth effectively. Press just firmly
enough to reach the spaces between the teeth as well
as the surface. Medium and hard bristles are not recommended
How often should I change my toothbrush?
You should change your tooth brush at least once
every 2-3 months.
Are Electric Toothbrushes effective?
Using an electric rotary toothbrush is far more
efficient and effective in overall plaque removal and
massaging of the gums. The one we recommend is the Braun
Oral B Ultra.