How Should I Brush My Teeth?


Picking a toothbrush can be very confusing due to the high variety of dental cleaning products available. Keep in mind that soft bristles are probably the best option because they help protect the enamel integrity. Rubber accessories will not necessarily help you improve oral hygiene.

Contrary to popular belief, proper techniques of brushing are designed by dentists to help patients maintain their oral health. Regardless of the technique you use, remember to brush gently, always in front of the mirror to keep track and order of the areas cleaned.

Modified Stillman

One of the most popular techniques, preferred by dentists, is called Modified Stillman. It is indicated for adults and teenagers with healthy teeth and gums.

It consists in placing the brush 45 degrees to the gum surface, and sweeping the surfaces of teeth downward for the upper arch, and upward for the lower arch. The sweeping movement starts from the gum and it must be repeated 8 to 10 times per section. For the chewing surfaces, a rotatory movement for about 10 seconds removes debris and plaque.

It is important to maintain proper wrist movement to ensure efficient sweeping. Stillman technique also cleans the space between the teeth, however it does not rule out the use of dental floss.

Rotatory Technique

As the name states, the rotatory technique consists of brushing the surface of teeth and gums in a circular motion. This technique is recommended for patients at or below 12 years old.

Fones Tecnique

It is also known as Horizontal Technique. The toothbrush is placed horizontal and the bristles in 90 degrees to the tooth. The movement is back and forth and the same for the chewing surfaces.
This technique is recommended for individuals with compromised motor abilities, as well as small children.

Modified Bass Technique

Bass technique is useful for patients with gum disease. It consists of placing the toothbrush at 45 degrees to the margin of the gums, and pressuring slightly for the bristles to enter the space between the gum edge and the tooth (gingival sulcus). A vibrating movement is performed, followed by a sweeping similar to Stillman’s movement.

Charters Technique

This technique targets areas between teeth. The toothbrush is placed at 45 degrees to the surface of the tooth, followed by vibration and pressure allowing the bristles to clean the adjacent areas between teeth.

Brushing the tongue is very important as part of daily oral hygiene. The toothbrush must be placed horizontal, in a comfortable depth and the brushing is directed towards the outside only. This movement is repeated several times until the tongue looks pink and free of debris.