What is the Best Technique for Brushing?
There are a number of effective
brushing techniques. Patients are advised to
check with their dentist or hygienist to
determine which technique is best for them,
since tooth position and gum condition vary. One
effective, easy-to-remember technique involves
using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a
couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering
the entire mouth.
Place a toothbrush
beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and
gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion.
Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the
teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and
between teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion
causes the gum surface to recede, can expose the
root surface or make the root surface tender.
You also risk wearing down the gum line.
Soft or hard
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 and 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 long should
It might be a good
idea to brush with the radio on, since dentists
generally recommend brushing three to four
minutes, the average length of a song. Using an
egg timer is another way to measure your
brushing time. Patients generally think they're
brushing longer, but most spend less than a
To make sure
you're doing a thorough job and not missing any
spots, patients are advised to brush the full
three to four minutes twice a day, instead of
brushing quickly five or more times through the
Should I brush
most Americans don't brush during the workday.
Yet a survey by Oral-B Laboratories and the
Academy of General Dentistry shows if you keep a
toothbrush at work, the chances you will brush
during the day increase by 65 percent.
Getting the debris
off teeth right away stops sugary snacks from
turning to damaging acids and catches starchy
foods like potato chips before they turn to
cavity-causing sugar. If you brush with fluoride
toothpaste in the morning and before going to
bed, you don't even need to use toothpaste at
work. You can just brush and rinse before
heading back to your desk. If you don't have a
toothbrush, rinsing your mouth with water for 30
seconds after lunch also helps.
Tips to improve
your office brushing habits:
Post a sticky
note on your desk or computer as a reminder
to brush teeth after lunch.
right after lunch, before you become
absorbed in work.
toothbrush and toothpaste at work in a
convenient and handy place.
brushing your teeth part of your
freshening-up routine at work.
When brushing at the
office or away from home, it's important
to make an extra effort to keep your
on how to properly store and care for your
toothbrush at work:
your toothbrush in a travel container.
toothbrush after use and before returning to
toothbrush you take to work more often than
your toothbrush at home to avoid bacteria