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Your Oral Health

Tooth Brushing Simplified

The Brush To Use

Hard bristles were once recommended but now are thought to be too abrasive to the teeth and gums. It now is suggested that a soft, rounded-end nylon bristle brush be used. Be sure to discard brushes when the bristles are bent or frayed or every three to four months.

Be sure to discard brushes when the bristles are bent or frayed or approximately every three to four months.

 

How To Brush

Begin by placing the head of the brush beside your teeth, with the bristles angled against the gum line (where the teeth and gums meet). Think of the brush as both a toothbrush and a gum brush. With the bristles contacting both tooth and gum, move the brush gently in an elliptical motion across each tooth individually. Use a short stroke and a gentle scrubbing motion, as if the goal were to massage the gum. Don't try to force the bristles under the gum line; that will happen naturally, especially with a brush that has soft, flexible bristles.

Brush the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. Then use the same elliptical motion across the inside surfaces. Try to concentrate harder on the inside surfaces; studies show they're more often neglected. For the upper and lower front teeth, brush the inside surfaces by using the brush vertically and making several gentle up—and-down strokes over the teeth and gums. Finish up by lightly scrubbing the chewing surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. You should also brush your tongue to keep it clean and to ensure fresher breath.

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