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Are You Using The Correct Brushing Technique?

If you have never learned the proper technique, you could be damaging your teeth and gums.  Selecting the right type of toothbrush will also help to prevent damage to your teeth and gums, while still cleaning effectively.  It is recommended that you brush for at least two minutes and to brush at least twice daily.

What Happens If You Do Not Brush Properly?

Some people think that brushing with a hard bristled toothbrush gives the best clean.  Others believe that using a back and forth motion is the best way to clean their teeth.  When you couple using a hard bristle toothbrush and you brush using a back and forth motion, you can damage your gums and create notches in your teeth.  When the gums are damaged, they will pull away from the teeth. This is called recession.

Correct Technique

The first thing you should do is to use a toothbrush that has soft bristles, do not use medium or hard bristled toothbrushes.

Follow these steps:

steps for brushing teeth

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle at your gum line (where the tooth meets the gum).
  2. Gently brush the outer surface of your teeth using a downward stroke if brushing the top teeth. Repeat 4 to 5 times for each tooth and move along your mouth.
  3. For the back of your teeth, keep a 45 degree angle towards the gum line and use an upward stroke if brushing the bottom teeth. Repeat 4 to 5 times for each tooth.
  4. When brushing your front teeth located on the bottom, hold the brush vertically instead to make maximum contact and use an up and down brushing motion.
  5. Remember to brush the top of your teeth or the biting surfaces.

Remember to use a downward angle and stroke when brushing the top teeth and an upward angle and stroke when brushing the bottom teeth.

If you have gum recession from brushing aggressively, contact us to make an appointment to discuss gum grafting options.  Gum grafting can help with tooth sensitivity.


Canadian Dental Association

About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio

Dr. Joseph Salvaggio, DDS

Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

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