Teeth Brushing

We all brush our teeth, but not all of us know the proper way to brush to maximize the cleaning effect and reduce cavities and the potential for periodontal disease.


  • Make sure you have the proper brush. Hard bristles are too abrasive to the teeth and gums, so make sure your toothbrush is soft with a rounded-end bristle. Discard brushes when the bristles are bent or frayed. Generally, you should change toothbrushes every 4-5 months.
  • Place the head of the brush beside your teeth, with the bristles angled against the gum line (where the teeth and gums meet). Think of the brush as both a toothbrush and a gum brush. With the bristles contacting both tooth and gum, move the brush back and forth several times across each tooth individually. Use a short stroke and a gentle scrubbing motion, as if the goal were to massage the gum. Don’t try to force the bristles under the gum line; that will happen naturally, especially with a brush that has soft, flexible bristles. Brush the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. Then use the same short back-and-forth strokes on the inside surfaces.
  • Try to concentrate harder on the inside surfaces; studies show they’re more often neglected. For the upper and lower front teeth, brush the inside surfaces by using the brush vertically and making several gentle up-and-down strokes over the teeth and gums.
  • Finish up by lightly scrubbing the chewing surfaces of the upper and lower teeth.
  • You should also brush your tongue for fresher breath.