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Proper Brushing Techniques

At West Vancouver Dental we recommend brushing your teeth with the proper toothbrush. Manual brushing is of course the traditional method, but now with more and more electronic selections, we’d like to ensure that our patients are still brushing properly. It’s important to follow proper brushing guidelines so that you are getting the right care and not damaging your teeth and gums.

Tried and True
If you’re still rocking the old school style of brushing and enjoy using your trusty regular toothbrush, remember the general rule of brushing up and down. The best technique is to focus on the gum line, which is where plaque tends to build up the most. Using the bristles of your brush to massage your gums is a great way to get in there and break up the plaque.

It’s good to spend at least 30-45 seconds on each quadrant of your teeth and make sure to brush the back of your pearly whites as well. It may seem like second nature, but even adults have a hard time getting back there.

Electric Power

When using an electric toothbrush, keep these same techniques in mind, but be sure to take your time. Allow the brush to do its job on each side of your teeth. When you get your routine cleaning at West Vancouver Dental, do as we do and break up the brush time evenly. Try putting focus on one quadrant at a time. That way you can put more emphasis on a single tooth. Let the brush head spin on each tooth for a few seconds, and place it near the gum line. The spin head brush is designed to break up and lift plaque away. And remember, no rushing!

Also be cautions as to brushing too hard with your electric toothbrush. If you put too much pressure so often on your gum line, there is a chance your gums might recede. Once your gums recede, you are potentially exposed to pain and nerve exposure. In more severe cases, there can be a loss of the tooth. The American Dental Association reccommends short gentle strokes. This is done best by holding the brush at a forty five degree angle. Also holding the brush at an angle away from your gum line will allow for the right amount of pressure on the enamel. You want just enough to have buildup brushed away yet keeping your gum line protected.

Electric toothbrushes have small heads that are purposely positioned at a forty five degree angle for the hard to reach areas. Also make sure to use only a pea-sized dab of toothpaste to prevent a lot of foaming, too much foaming may tempt you to spit and stop brushing too early. Be sure to return the brush to the charger when finished. It’s important to have the brush fully charged so that it is always performing at it’s peak.

Head Changes

Speaking of which, changing the head regularly on your electric toothbrush is very important. You will want the best performance and some heads will actually have indicators on them to let you know when it’s time to change. It’s also a good idea to switch them out after being sick with a cold or flu. Or if not a change, then try soaking them in a solution such as vinegar or mouthwash. Bristles contain tiny microbes that need to be eliminated to prevent problems.

Slow and Steady

Spending about two minutes brushing your teeth is recommended. Following the procedure of breaking up the time evenly which means spending a good thirty seconds on each quadrant will deliver a nice complete brushing. Set a timer or a clock. Perhaps even sing a song which is great for children so that you stay on a good time scale.

At West Vancouver Dental we always encourage and instruct proper brushing. . We recommend following the above suggestions so that your investment in any toothbrush and your teeth, will be extremely beneficial.

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