Which Brushing Technique Is The Best For You?

How To Properly Brush Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth is one of those things you do without giving it much thought – you just do it. Someone taught you how to do it and you kind of stick with the same routine to this day. But, believe it or not – you might have just been brushing your teeth wrong all this time.

Yes, there are proper techniques to use that will help you avoid cavities, receding gums, and other pain-in-the-teeth problems (see what I did there?). There are three major brushing techniques that you must learn about and each of them comes with its own benefits. This article will go into detail about various brushing techniques and help you choose the right one for your needs.

Let’s learn the proper way to brush our teeth, shall we?

What Comes First?

Chicken or egg? Mouthwash or floss?

For the chicken part – that topic is too political, so we’ll act as if no one asked for the answer to that question. For the teeth-brushing part – we got you.

Many wonder about the proper order to brush their teeth and we’ve seen this topic become a major thing among friends. It’s one of those situations when you think you know a person, only for them to tell you they do things a certain way, different than you and your whole friendship becomes questionable. So, let’s get this right once and for all.

Even though the internet will try and tell you otherwise, there is a proper order when it comes to brushing your teeth:

  1. Floss
  2. Brush
  3. Mouthwash

The reason behind this order of doing things is pretty simple when you think about it. Flossing is the first step, it allows you to get rid of large pieces of food that are stuck between your teeth. This lets your brush and the paste go in between the tiny gaps that would otherwise be blocked. Take your time with flossing and make sure you got all the tiny food out of the way.

After flossing, you brush – preferably with a fluoride paste. Now that all the space is available, your brush and toothpaste can do their job properly and remove all of the bacteria that would have caused a cavity or spread in your mouth. If you brush your teeth frequently, your chances of having a cavity reduces.

Lastly, you rinse for about 30-60 seconds with a mouthwash. Mouthwash is great because not only does it prevent bad breath, but it helps strengthen your teeth and helps prevent cavities as well.

The Bass or Sulcular Technique

This teeth-brushing method is great for people that are prone to periodontitis, or gum disease. With the Bass method, the toothbrush bristles are supposed to get under the gums and scrub off the plaque before it causes gum disease.

Here’s how to brush your teeth using the Bass Technique:

  1. Place your brush parallel to your teeth (with bristles facing toward your gums and teeth, of course).
  2. Tilt the brush to a 45-degree angle and position the bristles slightly under the gumline.
  3. Firmly, but gently, move the brush back and forth or in a circular motion, covering two or three teeth at once.
  4. After you brush the outer surface of your teeth, move to the tongue side and do the same there.

Always make sure the bristles are getting under your gumline and don’t forget to clean your tongue as well. If you wish to brush your teeth using a modified Bass technique, check out this helpful video.


Read More: What’s a Simple Way to Treat Receding Gums? Fillings!

The Stillman Technique

This method is very similar to the previous one, but it’s supposed to help you clean even more debris between your teeth. That’s why it’s great for people struggling with gingivitis.

To brush your teeth using this method, you can follow the Bass technique up to the point of brushing under the gum area. After you’re done brushing that area, use short back-and-forth strokes on the chewing surface of the tooth.

Make sure your brush is covering half of the gums and half of the tooth surface at the same time.

The Charter Technique

With the Charter technique, your brush is positioned a bit differently than in the last two methods:

  1. Your brush should be placed at a 45-degree angle pointing toward the crown of the tooth, as opposed to pointing down towards the gum line.
  2. You will then gently move the brush (back and forth or in a circular motion) about 15 to 20 times and then move the brush to the next area.
  3. Brush all tooth surfaces, including molar chewing surfaces, in the same manner.

This technique is great if you just had periodontal surgery or if you wear braces, dentures or space between your teeth.

Should You Brush Right After Eating?

Some people might feel inclined to brush their teeth after eating or drinking, thinking it would prevent the food and bacteria from ruining their teeth. The truth is – brushing right after eating can do the exact opposite. You should always wait for at least an hour after eating to brush your teeth, especially if you’re having something acidic. Rinse your mouth with water instead, or have a sugarless gum.

How To Brush Babies Teeth?

OK, so we covered teeth brushing for adults. But, don’t forget babies need their teeth brushed as well!

As soon as you notice a first tooth, it’s time to start taking care of your baby’s oral health. Use a small soft toothbrush, add some toothpaste to it and gently brush all around the teeth. Flouride paste is safe for kids and should reduce cavities, but wipe the excess of it with gauze if your child can’t spit it out yet.

How To Brush If You Have Braces?

Here’s how to brush your teeth if you have braces:

  1. Take out any elastics, bands, and removable pieces and set them aside
  2. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush along the gum line
  3. Then, shift the angle of the brush and gently brush the tops of your brackets
  4. After that, position your toothbrush up, so the bristles can brush under the brackets and wire.
  5. Brush the chewing and inner parts of your teeth using a back-and-forth or circular motion.

The Takeaway

Properly brushing your teeth is crucial for maintaining optimal oral health. However, sometimes, our bad habits get in the way and we might just rush through brushing, skip flossing, etc.

By taking the time and going the extra mile (flossing!), you’re working on preventing many oral diseases and tooth decay. Combine that with regular visits to the dentist’s office and you got yourself a smile to last! How long has it been since your last appointment? Is it time for a new one? Book an appointment today!