Many of us have heard all kinds of things about toothbrushing: brush in a circular motion - brush downwards. The fact is that the most efficient way to brush is the way we brush anything clean: side to side. However, unlike scrubbing a floor cleaning our teeth comes with precautions. The most important thing is not to scrub. DO NOT hold your toothbrush in your fisted hand. Hold your toothbrush with your thumb and 2 fingers. Excessive force on your toothbrush can cause some serious problems.
If you scrub your teeth too hard you will cause gum recession. There are 2 major problems with that. Once the gums recede and the root of the tooth is exposed most people get sensitivity to hot and cold. For some people even a breath of cold air can hurt. Once the root of the tooth is exposed and you use toothpaste you will wear down the root surface so that notches start to develop on the roots. These can get so deep that they have to be filled. Why do we say “if you use toothpaste”? All toothpastes are abrasive and when researchers simulated 10 years of brushing with various toothpastes they were able to wear the root surfaces down.
The other thing to consider about brushing your teeth is what you are concentrating on. First that means that you have to “massage” your gums while you brush (massage) your teeth. Many people only brush their teeth, but keep in mind that most plaque and debris collects at the gumline. That causes gingivitis or inflammation in the gums which is the early stage of serious gum disease or periodontitis. The other factor about concentration is that most people, when they brush their teeth, are thinking about 101 different things. Therefore many areas get missed. The key to good tooth care is to do it the same way all the time. Start massaging along the gum line (that cleans the teeth also) at the outside back corner of your lower teeth and move forward. Once you get to the other side then do the same on the inside of the teeth going back to where you started. You have to get your lip out of the way in order to do the games properly. Then do the same up top.
If you brush your teeth the same way all the time it doesn’t matter what you are thinking about, you will do a great job every time. REMEMBER: IF YOUR GUMS BLEED WHEN YOU CLEAN THEM THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG. Make sure you see your dentist to find out what’s going on. Of course if you have gingivitis and you start brushing your teeth properly it will take about a week for the bleeding to stop unless you have tartar on your teeth. If you have tartar the only way to get rid of it is with a professional cleaning. Then you can get on the road to a very healthy mouth.