There are quite a few different ways that you can brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush. Each different brushing method has its advantages & disadvantages, but above all, any brushing technique can cause injury to the gums when excessive force is applied to the brush.
Proper Tooth Brushing Technique
- Brush teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day.
- Make gentle movements with the toothbrush. Try not to press too hard when brushing your teeth as it can lead to early recession of the gum line & the slew of other problems that follow the loss of the gingival tissue that encompasses the root of the tooth.
- Brush all accessible surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to hit the front, back, and top of every tooth during your daily brushing sessions.
Teeth Brushing Methods
- Bass or Sulcular Brushing Method: Most recommended brushing technique that aims to remove plaque building up below the gum line. This method involves tilting the toothbrush so that the bristles meet the teeth at a 45 degree angle. The brush is moved gently in circular motions around 15-20 times, cleaning 2-3 teeth at a time before moving to the next set. The Bass method is effective at removing plaque & may provide good stimulation for gingival tissue, but can also cause injury to the gums if you press to hard while brushing.
- Stillman Brushing Method: Similarly to the Bass method, the Stillman method places the bristles at a 45 degree angle in relation to the tooth, but this method also makes more of an effort to massage the gum tissue simultaneously. This method can be great for massaging & stimulating the gingival tissue, but is less effective at removing plaque below the gum line and can be more risky for causing injury to the gums if gentle motions are not used to brush.
- Charter Brushing Method: Brush is held at a 45 degree angle towards the chewing side of the teeth as opposed to a 45 degree angle towards the gum line which is used for the Stillman & Bass techniques. Gently but firm motions are used to press the bristles against tooth surfaces before moving on to the next area of the mouth. This method can be difficult because of the angle in which the toothbrush has to be held at and it is less effective than the previous 2 techniques at removing subgingival plaque.
- Scrub Brush Method: Often the standard method used to clean teeth, this technique involves rigorous vertical & horizontal motions for every surface of your teeth. It is less effective than any of the previously mentioned methods at removing plaque and can lead to recession of the gums when too much force is used while brushing.
- Fones or Circular Brushing Method: The Fones method is a quicker technique for brushing your teeth. It involves placing the brush over a set of teeth, not at a particular angle, and then brushing each set 4-5 times with gentle, circular motions. This technique is not as effective at cleaning the interdental space between your teeth.
- Leonard or Vertical Brushing Method: Bristles of toothbrush are lined up at a 90 degree angle to the surface of the tooth. Rigorous but gentle vertical motions are used to clean both the top & bottom set of teeth individually. This technique can be effective for children with their first set of teeth still in, but it is not effective at cleaning the space in between each set of teeth for adults.
- Roll Technique: Brush is placed on gum tissue at bottom of the tooth and then rolled over the shape of the tooth.
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