How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

Knowing how to brush your teeth properly can help you keep your entire mouth healthy. We're talking about the best way to brush your teeth for a healthy mouth.
Dr Joseph Cipriano

Today, we're talking about how to brush your teeth properly. We always say that proper brushing is the first step to a healthy mouth, but so many people don't actually know how to brush their teeth correctly. There are so many ways out there that people brush their teeth, and only one of them is correct. That's what we'll be explaining today. We wouldn't be the best family dentist in Staten Island if we didn't make sure you know how to keep your teeth clean properly! 

Why Proper Brushing is Important

So why is it so important to brush your teeth correctly? After all brushing is brushing, right? Actually, that's not the case at all. Brushing is about more than simply getting food out of your teeth or giving them a quick once over to make sure your breath doesn't have an odor. Brushing is literally the gatekeeper to good oral health.

Removal of Food Debris

Of course, brushing your teeth removes food debris, which is important. The leftover little pieces of food between your teeth or along your gumline are like a buffet for bacteria in your mouth. Brushing gets rid of the food debris that you can see and the debris that you can't, whether it be too small to see with the naked eye or hiding out behind your teeth.

Removal of Plaque

Brushing your teeth properly also helps remove plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless or pale yellow film that constantly forms on the surface of your teeth. It's formed when saliva, food, and fluids combine, and it can wreak havoc on your mouth. In fact, it's the root cause of oral health issues like bad breath, dingy-looking teeth, cavities, and gingivitis.

Plaque forms about 4 to 12 hours after brushing, which is why twice daily brushing and flossing are so important to your oral health.

Gum Stimulation

Another reason that you should know how to brush your teeth properly is one that not many people have ever heard of - gum stimulation. The bristles moving across the gumline gently massage the gums, promoting blood flow to them which helps keep them healthy.

How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

So now that we know why proper brushing is so important, let's talk about how to brush your teeth properly. People brush their teeth in lots of different ways, but none of them are as effective as the dentist-recommended way.

Circular Motion

First and foremost, choose a good toothbrush. Brush your teeth in a circular motion, focusing on one tooth at a time. As you brush in a circle, be sure you brush into the gumline, allowing the bristles to gently scrub the area where the gums meet the teeth. This ensures that you remove the most plaque and bacteria possible along and under the gumline. Do this for every tooth on the front bottom and back.

Set a Timer

It's important to set a timer, as well. Ideally, you'll brush your teeth for two minutes, allotting 30 seconds to each half of both the upper and lower teeth. If you can, use an electronic toothbrush, preferably one with a circular head.

Brush Your Tongue and Floss

Finally, don't forget to brush your tongue to remove even more bacteria and always floss. Brushing the tongue is often overlooked, but all those nooks and crannies in the tongue can house a lot of bacteria. Of course, flossing gets the areas between the teeth that even the best electronic toothbrush can't.

Brushing Properly Saves Your Teeth

That's not a hyperbole. Knowing how to brush your teeth properly can literally save your teeth. As the best family dentist in Staten Island, we want to make sure we practice preventative care more than corrective care whenever possible, and that starts with ensuring that you and your family know how to properly brush your teeth.

If you'd like more information on proper oral care or you're overdue for a cleaning and exam, stop by our office or visit the Healthy Smiles website. We're happy to help!