Are You Brushing Correctly?

Most of us learn how to brush our teeth as young children. Given the importance of twice-daily brushing, this is a good thing. However, the flip side of that is, we don’t always learn the most effective way to brush our teeth as children, and, despite learning the correct procedure later in life, we continue the bad habits we learned in our youth. It’s time to break that trend by following these tips from our Lake Forest cosmetic dentist, Dr. James Fondriest.

You’re Not Alone

If you don’t brush your teeth properly, you’re not alone. A recent study found that while most people in Sweden brush their teeth, only one in ten brush in a way that effectively prevents tooth decay. The study followed the brushing habits of 2,013 Swedes between the ages of 15 and 80, examining how often and how long they brushed, how much toothpaste they used and whether it contained fluoride, and how much water was used during brushing. The study found that 70 percent didn’t know the best way to use toothpaste, and 55 to 75 percent rinsed with water after brushing. Researchers attributed the poor brushing procedure to maintaining bad habits learned as children.

Brush as You Should

To start, use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Harder bristles can damage gums.

  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Hold the bristles at a 45-degree angle, contacting both teeth and the gum line.
  • Brush the outside of the teeth, two to three teeth at a time, using a back and forth rolling motion.
  • Repeat the same steps for the inside of the teeth.
  • Hold the brush vertically and brush up and down behind the front teeth.
  • Place the brush on the biting surface and scrub back and forth.
  • Brush the tongue from back to front.
  • Do not rinse with water after brushing.

Show Off Your Smile

Now that you know how to properly brush your teeth, it’s time to let Dr. Fondriest examine them. The team at Lake Forest Dental Arts offers a variety of services, including artistic smile design. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Fondriest, call our Lake Forest dental office at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago, Illinois area.