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.