Brushing Tips

You should see your dentist to be sure that you are using a technique that meets your needs.

  • Use a soft-bristled brush. Gently brush the teeth. Brushing too hard can cause gum damage.
  • Be sure it is the right size (generally smaller is better than larger).
  • Tilt the bristles (at a 45-degree angle) to the teeth. Slide the tips of the brush under the gums.
  • Jiggle the bristles gently so that any plaque growing under the gum will be removed.
  • Be sure to brush all sides of the teeth -- the outside, the tongue side, and the chewing surfaces.
  • For the front teeth, brush the inside surfaces of the upper and lower jaws. Tilt the brush and make
  • several up and down strokes. The front part of the brush should go over the teeth and gum tissues.
  • Your toothbrush will only clean one or two teeth at a time. Change its position to  properly clean each tooth.
  • To prevent plaque damage, be sure to brush at least once a day, best at bedtime. Adding a second brush time after breakfast helps your chances of thorough daily plaque removal.
  • Don’t rush your brush. A brushing should take at least 3 minutes.
  • A pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is all you need.
  • Replace your brush when the bristles begin to spread. A worn out toothbrush will not properly clean your teeth.