What's The Right Way To Brushing Your Teeth

What’s The Right Way To Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth – it’s a simple act we do (hopefully) twice a day. But are you getting the most out of your brushing routine? Brushing effectively goes beyond just swishing some toothpaste around. It’s about removing plaque and bacteria, those sneaky culprits that can lead to cavities and gum disease.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and techniques to transform your brushing routine into a powerful shield for your oral health.

Unveiling the Enemy: Plaque and Bacteria

Before diving into the brushing battlefield, let’s meet our adversaries: plaque and bacteria. A sticky substance called plaque builds up on your teeth over time. It’s a breeding ground for bacteria, which feed on the sugars in food particles left behind after eating.

Cavities are caused by the acids that these bacteria create, which break down tooth enamel. If left unchecked, plaque can harden into tartar (calculus), which requires professional removal by a dentist.

Brushing your teeth effectively disrupts and removes plaque, preventing bacteria from wreaking havoc on your pearly whites.

Gearing Up for Battle: The Tools of the Trade

Now that we know the enemy, let’s assemble our arsenal:


Select a brush with soft bristles that can easily reach every part of your mouth.. A small head size allows for better maneuverability, especially around back teeth. Consider an electric toothbrush for an extra plaque-busting boost, but a manual brush can be just as effective with proper technique.

Fluoride Toothpaste: 

Tooth enamel is strengthened by fluoride, increasing its resistance to decay. Select toothpaste with the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA).

  • Bonus Tip: If the bristles on your toothbrush start to fray, replace it within three to four months.

Brushing Technique: Mastering the Moves

Here’s where the magic happens! Follow these steps for a champion-worthy brushing routine:

  • Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Don’t overdo it – a little goes a long way.
  • Angle the brush at 45 degrees. Aim the bristles towards the gumline, where plaque loves to hide.
  • Use gentle short strokes. Think of brushing each tooth individually, rather than scrubbing back and forth across all your teeth at once.
  • Clean all surfaces. Don’t forget the chewing surfaces (tops) of your teeth, the inner surfaces (facing your tongue), and behind your front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue. This aids in the removal of microorganisms that may cause foul breath.
  • Brushing duration: Aim for two minutes of brushing, twice a day. Think of humming your favorite song twice through to keep track of the time.


Brushing should be gentle yet thorough. Don’t scrub too hard, as this can irritate your gums.

Brushing Beyond the Basics: Advanced Techniques

For those seeking an extra edge in their oral hygiene game, here are some advanced techniques:

The Modified Bass Technique: 

This method involves placing the bristles at a 45-degree angle against the gumline and gently vibrating the brush back and forth with short strokes.


While brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, flossing tackles the areas between teeth where your brush can’t reach. Aim to floss once a day to remove trapped food particles and plaque.

  • Seeking Professional Guidance:  If you have any concerns about your brushing technique or oral health, consult a dentist.  An Austin dentist can provide personalized advice and ensure you’re on the right track to a healthy smile.

Brushing Beyond Routine: Habits for a Healthy Smile

Brushing is a cornerstone of oral health, but there’s more to the story. Here are some additional habits to embrace for a sparkling smile:

Maintain a healthy diet: 

Limit sugary foods and drinks, which fuel the growth of bacteria.

Drink plenty of water: 

Water helps flush away food particles and bacteria from your mouth.

Don’t smoke: 

Smoking weakens your immune system and increases your risk of gum disease.

Schedule regular dental checkups: 

Regular cleanings and checkups allow your dentist to identify and address any potential problems early on.

Brushing Up on Fun Facts: Keeping it Light

Brushing your teeth is essential, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some fun facts to keep you smiling:

  • The first commercially produced toothbrush appeared in England in the 17th century.
  • The ADA recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. That’s the same amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice!

Brushing Through Challenges: Conquering Common Brushing Obstacles

Even the most dedicated brushers can face challenges. Here’s how to overcome some common obstacles:

  • Sensitive Teeth: If you experience discomfort while brushing, choose a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. Use gentle pressure and a soft-bristled brush. Consider consulting your dentist for additional recommendations.
  • Dry Mouth: Certain medications or medical conditions can cause dry mouth, making brushing less effective. Opt for a toothpaste designed for dry mouth, which may contain lubricants to increase moisture. Discuss strategies with your doctor or dentist to manage dry mouth.
  • Limited Dexterity: For those with limited hand mobility, consider using an electric toothbrush with a larger handle or a built-in grip. There are also specially designed adaptive toothbrushes to aid in brushing.
  • Time Constraints: We all lead busy lives. If you’re short on time, focus on brushing the chewing surfaces and fronts of your teeth for at least one minute. It’s better to do a quick brush than skip it altogether.
  • Traveling: Pack a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste. Consider using disposable floss picks for on-the-go flossing. Maintaining your routine, even when traveling, is crucial for oral health.

Brushing for the Whole Family: Instilling Healthy Habits

Brushing habits are established early. Here are some tips to get your little ones excited about brushing:

  • Commence early: As soon as your youngster loses their first tooth, start brushing them.
  • Make it fun: Choose a colorful toothbrush with their favorite character and use a kid-friendly toothpaste with a mild flavor.
  • Lead by example: Let your children see you brushing your teeth and explain the importance of oral hygiene.
  • Use age-appropriate techniques: For young children, help them brush and use a gentle touch. Gradually move them toward autonomous brushing as they get older.
  • Brushing apps and timers: There are many fun and educational apps and timers available to help children brush for the recommended two minutes.

By making brushing a positive and fun experience, you’ll set your children on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Brushing Beyond the Physical: The Link Between Oral and Overall Health

Oral health doesn’t exist in a silo. Studies have shown a potential link between poor oral health and an increased risk of certain chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Maintaining good oral hygiene through consistent brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups, is not just about a pretty smile – it’s about contributing to your overall well-being.

Brushing your teeth is a simple yet powerful act that can significantly impact your oral health and potentially your overall health. By incorporating these tips and techniques into your daily routine, you can transform your brushing from a mindless chore into a powerful shield for your smile and your well-being.

  • Remember: Consistency is key! Brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, is the foundation for a healthy smile. So, grab your toothbrush, unleash your inner brushing champion, and keep those pearly whites sparkling!