The most common mistakes that people tend to make include, – Brushing sideways, or in a constant horizontal motion.
- Brushing only the anterior surfaces of the teeth, leaving out the lingual and palatal surfaces.
- Brushing only on the occlusal (biting) surfaces, and not thoroughly around the whole tooth
- Using a large amount of toothpaste, with the misconception that more toothpaste means better cleaning.
While your dental hygienist will be more than happy to demonstrate the correct technique for brushing teeth, here are a few tips that you can incorporate into your routine for effective cleaning:
- Use a toothbrush with a long easy-to-grip handle, and soft bristles that have rounded ends.
- Start by placing the brush at a 45 degree angle to your gum line.
- Use a small, circular, scrubbing motion to clean all the anterior and posterior surfaces of the tooth. Make sure the bristles reach all exposed surfaces of the crown.
- Occlusal or biting surfaces of the posterior teeth should be cleaned in a vertical, up-and-down motion. – Invert the brush to clean teeth in the upper jaw using a mirror for better vision.
- Towards the end, use a tongue scrubber, or your brush, to clean your tongue. A large amount of bacteria accumulates on the tongue and if left uncleaned, it causes halitosis and contributes to disturbing the normal pH of the oral cavity.