The most important thing is that you do brush your teeth!
Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do to make sure that you will always be able to smile, eat and talk confidently and comfortably.
Brushing twice a day for two and a half minutes using a fluoridated toothpaste will help to reduce the risk of dental decay and gum disease.
Once you are happy doing this every day you can start to refine your technique to clean in the most efficient way: brush each tooth individually and use a systematic approach.
Brush each tooth individually
To clean each tooth with a manual toothbrush:
- Point your toothbrush at an angle towards your gums (45°)
- Move your toothbrush round in very small circles to loosen the soft bacteria and food build-up (called plaque) on your teeth
- Swipe away from your gums to remove the plaque
To clean each tooth with an electric toothbrush:
- Point your toothbrush at an angle toward your gums (45°)
- Wrap the head of your toothbrush around each tooth individually going from the back – to the side – to the front.
Use a systematic approach
You only need to brush the teeth you want to keep – so hopefully that’s all of them! Use a systematic approach to make sure you don’t miss a tooth:
- Start in a back corner of your mouth with the last tooth eg the back bottom right.
- Work your way around your mouth cleaning each tooth separately (your toothbrush will overlap on 2-3 teeth, so each tooth should get cleaned 2-3 times).
- Work your way around the outside on the bottom – right to left, then back along in the inside – left to right (near your tongue).
- Use the very top bristles on your brush to clean behind your front teeth, making sure you are still pointing the brush towards your gums.
- Then scrub the biting surfaces.
- Repeat on the top.
If you brush your teeth properly it should easily take 2-3 minutes. Its worth timing yourself with a clock/watch or on your phone.
This technique is really good at keeping your teeth clean to prevent tooth decay and gum disease without causing damage to your gums.