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There are many different reasons why it is important for people to brush their teeth using the proper methods. Not only does brushing the teeth lead to good oral health and protects against dental caries, but it also helps prevent bad breath and disease.

Methods of brushing teeth

Gum disease in adults is one of the main culprits of heart attacks and strokes, which can be avoided with proper tooth and gum care practices.

The food consumed in the daily diet contains starches and sugars which when combined, result in plaque forming on the teeth.  Plaque produces an acid which attacks the enamel on teeth and can lead to tooth decay.

Plaque can also lead to gum inflammation and gum disease, which can result in tooth loss and a worsening of gum disease.  The American Dental Association recommends a person brush two times a day for a minimum of two minutes each session and replacing a toothbrush every three months for the best oral care possible.  

Techniques for Properly Brushing Adult Teeth

Properly brushing the teeth and cleaning the gums effectively is the best way to ensure oral health is at its best.  Experts recommend people use a soft, nylon toothbrush with rounded bristles to avoid scratching or irritating the teeth or soft tissue of the gums.  The following information is designed to educate a person about proper tooth brushing techniques:

  • Put the bristles of the toothbrush at the gum line at a 45° angle with the bristles in contact with both the tooth surface and gums.
  • Begin by brushing gently on the outer surface of 2-3 teeth using a back and forth, vibrating rolling motion.  Move the brush on to the next group of teeth and repeat until all outer surfaces of the teeth have been brushed accordingly.
  • Maintaining a 45° angle with bristles touching tooth surface and gum line.  Brush back and forth, rolling and vibrating over the inner surfaces of the teeth.
  • Tilt the brush at a vertical angle behind the front teeth, making several up and down strokes using the front portion of the tooth brush.
  • Place the brush against the biting portion of the teeth and use a gentle back and forth scrubbing motion to remove debris from the teeth.
  • Once all of the teeth and gums have been brushed, take the toothbrush and using a back and forth motion, brush the surface of the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.

Techniques for Properly Brushing Child’s Teeth

A parent should always highlight the importance of regular tooth brushing and oral care even in young children.  Tooth brushing in childhood should begin as soon as the child’s first tooth erupts and at first a parent can use a soft cloth to brush the gums and graduate to a toothbrush whenever necessary.   There are pediatric dental tooth brushes available from a pediatric oral specialist which can also be used to ensure proper brushing of teeth.

Because there is danger of a child receiving too much fluoride, a parent should always make sure to use the toothpaste recommended by a pediatric dentist.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child has his or her first dental visit around the age of one year old and every six months following the first visit for routine check-ups and cleanings.  An early dental visit is an excellent way of teaching a child from an early age about the importance of good oral hygiene and can prevent the child from having significant problems with the teeth and gums in adulthood.

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