Did you know most people brush their teeth incorrectly? The popular back-and-forth technique is both abrasive and ineffective. It strips the enamel, skips over important gaps between the teeth, and scrapes at the gum line.
Worse, most people who brush incorrectly also apply too much pressure. Especially with hard bristles, vigorous brushing can exacerbate the problem. Most often, bad form leads to tooth sensitivity. But in severe cases, it can cause irreversible damage to the teeth and gums.
The Proper Method for Brushing Your Teeth
- Step One: Draw the brush to a tooth at a 45-degree angle. Gently press the bristles up to the gum and wiggle into place. Ensure the bristles fall to the sides of the tooth.
- Step Two: Sweep down on the tooth. Repeat step one for the front and back of every tooth. Refrain from cleaning more than one tooth at a time.
- Step Three: Brush circularly at the bottom of your teeth. Remove grime caught in the groves.
- Step Four: Scrape your tongue and cheeks before finishing. Flossing and rinsing can eliminate any bacteria missed in this final step.
Tips on Adopting a New Brushing Technique
Getting used to a new way of brushing takes time. Rather than reconditioning yourself on the first day, consider switching hands. Your non-dominant hand is unaccustomed to either motion, making it easier to learn.
Bad brushing habits often stem from stress. Rushing to clean your teeth will lead to bad form. Ideally, the whole process should take a minimum of two to three minutes. So slow down and focus on the movement of your wrist.
If you feel you brush abrasively, hold the handle closer to the bottom to alleviate some pressure. As well, try to use only the tips of the bristles, rather than the flat of the brush head.