We all know that brushing regularly is a key component to a healthy smile. It keeps bad breath at bay, keeps plaque build-up to a minimum, and encourages strong gums. More than that, brushing prevents cavities.

Proper brushing technique is vital to reaping the benefits of a healthy mouth. No matter the toothbrush brand or type you must brush your mouth thoroughly. A well brushed mouth feels refreshed and rejuvenated.

Dr. James Russo, a dentist in San Leandro, CA of twenty-seven years, recommends the following techniques for the best results:

  • Concentrate on holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line.
  • Brush slowly and deliberately for each tooth.
  • Time yourself while brushing to a full two minutes.
  • Floss and rinse after brushing.

Because retention is more effective through understanding than recitation let us discuss how the four points relate to our oral health.

Keeping the toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle along the gum line ensures brushing of the tooth and gums simultaneously. It allows the bristles to reach in between the tooth and gum where most often food is left behind. It also stimulates the gums thus strengthening them against bleeding when brushing and flossing.

Bushing slowly helps you to concentrate on each tooth. You must get the sides and the crowns of your teeth free from stuck-on food and plaque. This will keep your teeth free from acids that erode tooth enamel, and thus keep cavities in check.

Two minutes is the perfect amount of time to ensure a full brushing. Timing yourself is a good habit to develop. Some toothbrushes come with a built-in timer, but a stopwatch or an egg timer work just as well. Ask Dr. Russo about which timer brush he recommends.

Flossing and rinsing after brushing cleans the remainder of your mouth that a brush cannot reach. Flossing between each pair of teeth loosens plaque and food particles. Rinsing washes away these particles as well as kill a majority of bacteria hiding around the gums and the tongue.

Brushing in this manner after every meal is ideal. However, in our busy lives it is adequate enough to follow the four steps above before bed and after eating breakfast.

Posted in: Healthy Smiles


  Copyright 2009 James P.Russo, DDS. All Rights Reserved.