Tooth brushing techniques for optimal cleaning

Dental Health Advice

Correct tooth brushing techniques can be the difference between healthy long-lasting teeth or needing implants due to your teeth wearing away and pain being all too common. This is why we’ve put this together – to ensure those who are looking for advice, get sound and accurate tooth brushing techniques directly from the professionals.

How tooth brushing ensures healthy teeth

Tooth brushing is key to longevity and healthy feeling teeth. The difference between ‘okay’ tooth brushing techniques and optimal brushing can be huge. The primary reason for brushing is to not only make your teeth look nice but to also remove touch bacteria and plaque which typically build up during the day. Not brushing often enough can encourage the build-up of both bacteria and plaque to grow considerably, eventually causing issues leading to teeth falling out, infections and expensive dentist appointments.

Luckily, there are many types of toothbrushes which are recommended and have been developed for efficiency over recent decades.

The types of toothbrushes and bristles

Finding the perfect toothbrush type is important as it’ll be what you rely on to remove all unwanted bacteria and plaque. Typically, there are 3 main types of toothbrush bristles; soft, medium and hard. Further to that, there are also 3 primary types of the toothbrush itself; manual, electric and sonic.

Bristle Hardness

Ahead of picking up your new toothbrush, it is worth checking in with your dentist to find out their recommendation. In the majority of cases, they will likely opt for the soft bristles as they will be the kindest on your enamel and gums.

Some people do prefer the bristles to be a bit harder to choose the medium strength bristles. This is normally fine however you will need to be careful of the amount of pressure applied if you choose this type. It can be more damaging to the enamel and gums if too much pressure is applied.

Hard bristles are typically avoided by most. In very rare cases will hard bristles ever be recommended by a professional. The chase of damaging your enamel and gums is too great so soft or medium will be suggested.

Brush Type

The 3 main brush types are manual, electric and sonic with manual and electric being the more common options. 

Manual brushes are the most affordable and accessible. Due to their cheap nature, you’re able to pick one up for pocket change – it’s well worth the investment and it also means you’re able to get a new one for cheap when the bristles look a bit worse for wear. 

Electric brushes cost a bit more money but take out the ‘manual-labour’ side of brushing. Due to it carrying out the rotating motion itself, it takes less effort from the user to carry out an efficient brush. Replacement heads are also easily obtainable in the bristle strength you require. They can be found both online and in a shop.

Sonic toothbrushes typically are a rare option. They were invented to carry out a quicker spinning motion however they’re not normally recommended as a higher overall top speed isn’t necessarily required for optimal tooth brushing techniques.

The suggested tooth brushing techniques

The type of tooth brushing techniques you may come across may vary but here are our suggestions on this topic:

Manual-specific tooth brushing techniques

  • Place the manual brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth pointed upwards.
  • Gently move the brush in small circular motions moving from the front to the back of your row of teeth.

Electric-specific tooth brushing techniques

  • Hold the electric toothbrush at a slight angle to ensure your gums are also targeted during the brushing.
  • Gently glide the toothbrush across your row of teeth ensuring you’re not pressing too hard. There are pressure-indicating electric toothbrushes if you require this feature.

General tips for both manual and electric

  • Make sure to also target the teeth towards the back of your mouth as these will see the most use overall.
  • Carry out the cleaning process for at least 2 minutes. Some electric toothbrushes will indicate the 2 minutes by providing additional vibrations, noise or lights.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue as this is where the majority of bacteria can be stored.
  • Brush at least twice a day – after you’re woken up in the morning and before bed. This is key as overnight is when the bacteria can further develop. This is typically why ‘morning breath’ exists.

An additional area of tooth brushing techniques is the use of other additional cleaning methods to ensure you’ve cleaned both the teeth and gums as well as you can. Mouthwash and floss are other common areas of use. We’ve covered these in more detail within another piece of cleaning advice – How to achieve optimal teeth cleaning.

Get in touch

If you’re experiencing some issues or need further advice, feel free to get in touch. Our experts will be happy to book you into your nearest 247 clinic. Feel free to also use our postcode locator where you can explore our current available clinics.

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