Woman Brushing Teeth

How to Brush Your Teeth

You’ve most likely been brushing your teeth all of your life. But are you brushing your teeth properly? It’s possible that your technique could use a little brushing up. 

Brushing your teeth effectively is crucial to your dental health as well as your overall health and wellness. It helps to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. It can also help to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

Whether you’re looking for tips to improve your own teeth brushing routine or you’re teaching your child how to brush their teeth, here’s what you need to know. 

How To Brush Your Teeth with a Manual Toothbrush

  • Use a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. Wet it with water.  
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to the bristles of your toothbrush. 
  • Touch the bristles to your front teeth and move the toothbrush in a gentle back and forth motion, making sure to brush the entire surface area of the tooth and along the gum line. 
  • Angle the brush at a 45 degree angle towards the gumline.
  • Turn your toothbrush over so that the bristles are touching the back sides of your front teeth and brush in a back and forth motion. 
  • Move the toothbrush to your back teeth and brush the front, back, and top sides of the teeth. 
  • Be sure to brush both the top and bottom rows of teeth and get all the way behind the back molars. 
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes. Set a timer to be sure you brush long enough. 
  • Mentally divide your mouth into 4 quadrants and spend 30 seconds on each section of your mouth (top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left) in whatever order you prefer. 
  • Brush your tongue to remove plaque and bacteria. This also helps to keep your breath fresh. 
  • Do not swallow as you brush. Spit out the remaining toothpaste in your mouth at the end of your 2 minute brushing cycle (or spit along the way as needed). 
  • Rinse your mouth out with water and rinse your toothbrush. 
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months as needed. If the bristles are bent and frayed, it’s time to replace it. 
  • Brush twice a day. 

How To Brush Your Teeth with an Electric Toothbrush 

  • Wet the bristles of your electric toothbrush with water. 
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to the bristles of your toothbrush.
  • Place the toothbrush against your teeth and turn it on. 
  • Move the toothbrush slowly over each tooth, letting the electric toothbrush scrub each tooth as the brush head rotates. 
  • Be sure to move the toothbrush over all sides of each tooth, including the front, back, and top of molars. 
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes. Set a timer to be sure you brush long enough. Some electric toothbrushes include a timer. 
  • Mentally divide your mouth into 4 quadrants and spend 30 seconds on each section of your mouth (top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left) in whatever order you prefer.  
  • Turn off the toothbrush before taking it out of your mouth (this prevents toothpaste from spraying around the bathroom). Rinse off the brush head with water. 
  • Rinse your mouth out with water. 
  • Replace the head of your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months as needed. If the bristles are bent or frayed, it’s time to replace it. 
  • Brush twice a day. 

How To Floss Your Teeth 

It is important to floss your teeth once a day to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between your teeth. Most dentist’s recommend flossing before brushing so that any plaque that is loosened by flossing can be brushed away. 

  • Break off a piece of floss around 18-24 inches long. 
  • Wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches of floss stretched between your fingers. 
  • Use your index fingers and thumbs to gently glide the floss in between each tooth. 
  • Slide the floss along the sides of both teeth, curving it around the base of each tooth to get below the gum line. This is called ‘C-shape’ flossing.
  • Use a clean section of floss between each tooth. 
  • Throw the floss away when you are finished. 

Preventive Care at Blossom Dentistry 

Brushing and flossing your teeth at home is a crucial part of maintaining your dental health. But regular visits to the dentist are just as important as taking care of your teeth at home. Preventive dental care includes an oral examination, X-Rays, and professional teeth cleaning. These are all necessary to detect any oral health issues from cavities to gum disease to oral cancer and to keep your teeth clean and free of plaque. You should visit us at Blossom Dentistry every 6 months for routine dental care. 

Call (202) 922-2900 today to schedule an appointment or book an appointment online. We are happily accepting new patients and look forward to helping you maintain excellent oral health.