Brushing your teeth removes plaque and food particles from tooth surfaces to keep them healthy and clean. You need to brush well and brush every day to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you don’t remove plaque from teeth surfaces the plaque calcifies. Calcified plaque, known as calculus or tartar, is very hard and sticky and is impossible to remove with a toothbrush or dental floss. Both plaque and tartar harbor harmful bacteria which produce acids that destroy your teeth, gums and jawbone.
The recommended brushing technique is known as the Bass technique. First, make sure that you are holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth surfaces. Place the brush against each tooth surface and brush using gentle, circular strokes. Apply enough pressure to remove plaque and food particles, but don’t press too hard or you will damage your gums and tooth structure. Once you’ve finished cleaning each tooth surface, place the toothbrush on the next surface until you’ve covered your entire mouth.
Pay attention to brush teeth in the back as well as the inner surfaces of your teeth, the part that sits against your tongues. For even cleaner teeth, brush your tongue surface as well. Ideally, brush for about two minutes at least twice a day. If you eat lots of sugars and sodas, suffer from dry mouth or have other risk factors, you may need to brush even more. Talk to Dr. Jazayeri about correct brushing techniques and how frequently you should be brushing your teeth if you’re still unsure about what to do.
Not necessarily. Electric toothbrushes are very effective so long as you use them properly. The biggest advantage of electric toothbrushes is that they perform the oscillation motion for you. This makes brushing your teeth easier and cuts down on your effort. However, you still need to pay attention to cover each and ever tooth surface, brush for at least two minutes and apply the right amount of pressure to clean effectively without damaging your gums and teeth.
If you use a manual toothbrush with the correct technique, it’s just as effective as an electric toothbrush. If you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, we recommend Oral-B or Sonicare. If you choose to go with a manual toothbrush instead, we recommend one with soft bristles. Hard bristles are abrasive and damage teeth and gums over time. Regardless of the type of toothbrush you use, make sure that you switch out your toothbrush or brush-head at least every 3 to 4 months. Using an old toothbrush or brush-head for too long exposes your teeth to harmful bacteria. Additionally, worn out bristles become abrasive and damage your teeth and gums.