How do I brush my teeth properly?
We have brushed out teeth ever since we developed sufficient motor skills to hold a toothbrush when we were young. We are told to brush our teeth daily to maintain a good oral health, and most of us just do it mindlessly out of habit. However, do you know that there is a correct way to brush our teeth? If not keep reading to find out!
What is it and how is it done?
This technique of toothbrushing is called the modified bass technique. It is done by angulating your toothbrush head in a 45-degree angle towards the gumline. Then, short and gentle forward and backward strokes are administered to two teeth at a time. A firm stroke towards the chewing surface is done to end off the movement.
It is recommended to brush your teeth in a systematic way (i.e. start from one side to the other, both the outside and inside surface of our teeth) so that we do not miss a single spot.
How can this technique clean your teeth better?
As we all have been told, the purpose of brushing our teeth daily is to remove any food and bacteria that is left in our mouth, as they can cause cavity to form. However, many missed the fact that there is a hidden space, or more like a crevice, where bacteria love to be at! This space is called the gingival sulcus. It exists as a gap between your gums and your teeth.
By angulating the toothbrush 45-degrees into the gum, we are reaching those tiny gaps with the bristles of our toothbrush such that we can sweep off any foreign debris that remain. By doing so, we are doing a huge favor to our gums, as a dirty gingival sulcus can result in the progression of gum disease.
Common mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth
- Brushing too hard
While it is important to brush your teeth with a firm stroke to ensure that all the plaque is removed from your gum pockets, we should avoid from using excessive strength, especially if the toothbrush head is not angulated properly. Using too much force irritates the gums and may eventually cause gum recession. This is made worse if you use a toothbrush with hard bristles!
- Brushing too fast
Do you know that it is recommended to brush your teeth for 2 minutes? If done with the correct technique, you realize that brushing teeth should take a decent amount of time. Other than to ensure that you have brushed all surfaces properly, we need the 2 minutes for the fluoride in toothpaste to stick to the surface of the tooth. This will then enhance the protective function of the toothpaste in preventing new cavity from forming. Hence, it is good practice to have a go-to song as a time indicator that accompanies you when you brush your teeth daily!