Proper Brushing Techniques from Your Sugar Land TX Dentist

August 27, 2015

Teeth brushing

You’ve probably been told to brush your teeth when you wake up and before you fall asleep since you were very young. You may not even think about it anymore. However, that unconscious brushing might not be doing you as much good as you think. According to a recent study, most patients are still utilizing brushing techniques they used as children, and don’t brush long enough for optimal effectiveness. At the practice of your Sugar Land, TX dentist, Dr. Paul Davey, we want you to make the most of your brushing. Twice annual checkups can help you maintain excellent oral health for life, but proper brushing can extend that clean, healthy smile between visits. Call to schedule an appointment or find out more about proper at-home hygiene.

Brushing Basics from the Sugar Land Dentist

The best brushing techniques would do you no good without keeping a few brushing basics in mind.

  • When – Always brush at least twice a day. Ideally, we would brush after every meal, but first thing in the morning and before you go to sleep is a good rule of thumb. Don’t forget to floss at least once a day before brushing. Flossing loosens up plaque and bacteria in places your toothbrush isn’t likely to reach.
  • How long – You should spend at least 2 minutes each time you brush. That’s at least 4 minutes a day of brushing, but spending a little more time is even better. Set a timer for 2 minutes. You’ll be surprised how long it really is. Most patients don’t realize how little time they spend brushing until they set a timer.
  • With what – Toothbrushes have a very short lifespan. You’ll start to notice bristles wearing out or splaying after just a few months of proper brushing. We recommend you change toothbrushes about 4 times a year. Use brushes with bristles marked as “soft” or “ultra soft.” This goes for electric toothbrushes as well. Be sure to replace the heads at least 4 times a year. Additionally, you may want to consider replacing your brush if you’ve been sick to reduce the risk of recontamination.

Bass Technique and Brushing Tips from Dr. Paul Davey

Most people are taught to brush in circles or back and forth across the surfaces of their teeth at a young age, and they stick with it. However, this is not an ideal method as it doesn’t provide enough stimulation to remove plaque or bacteria from below the gum line or in harder to reach crevices of your teeth. If you want to start cleaning more thoroughly at-home, the Bass technique is a good place to start. This technique is fairly simple, but will allow you to thoroughly clean your teeth and below the gum line. Here’s how it works:

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth
  2. Hold the bristles against your teeth, but move the brush back and forth quickly jiggling the bristles against your gum line
  3. Count to ten and move your brush to the next tooth
  4. Repeat this process inside and outside of upper and lower arch
  5. On the biting surfaces of your teeth, place the bristles flat on top of your bite
  6. Move brush back and forth quickly jiggling the bristles against the teeth
  7. Count to ten and move your brush to the next tooth
  8. Repeat for all teeth until finished
  9. Remember to gently brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth

This brushing method helps to remove plaque from hard to reach places and keep your teeth cleaner between checkups. The Bass method mimics the action of an electric toothbrush, and many patients prefer these brushes as they are able to vibrate more quickly and gently than we are able to using manual toothbrushes. Ask your hygienist about what tooth brushing technique is right for your bite, at your next teeth cleaning. Your hygienist can also recommend toothbrushes, floss and other at-home care tools and techniques to help you make the most of your cleaning.

Call Dr. Paul Davey, the Sugar Land Dentist

Whatever your dental health care needs, we’re here to help. Dr. Davey and his outstanding Sugar Land, TX dental team offer top-tier dental care from basic preventive treatments to advanced restorative dentistry. Dr. Davey focuses on neuromuscular dentistry which means we always consider how dental treatment effects every part of your smile from your teeth and gums to your bones and joints. We want your smile to look and feel great every day of the year. Call to schedule an appointment today. Our Sugar Land, TX practice invites patients form nearby Mission Bend, Cinco Ranch, Richmond, Greatwood and beyond.

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