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Brushing Basics

Brushing your teeth is an easy thing to do. It makes a big impact on your dental health and your general health.

Here are some tips for good brushing habits:

  • Be gentle when you brush!
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles that fits your mouth size. A big brush won't get to the back teeth and a small one will make brushing time longer. If you need help picking out a toothbrush, talk to your dentist.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride. Kids should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and adults should cover the length of the bristles with toothpaste.
  • Brush at least two times a day - when you wake up and before you go to bed. If you can, brush after every meal. If you can't, rinse out your mouth, especially after eating sugary foods.
  • Brush for two minutes. Look at a watch so you know how long it is.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles get bent.

When you brush your teeth, remember to get all sides:

  • Gently brush your teeth back and forth, with short strokes.
  • Brush gently near your gum line in circular motions. You want the bristles to slide in the place where your gum and tooth meet and where food particles can't be seen.
  • Brush all sides of your teeth: the outside, the chewing side, and the inside.
  • Use the top bristles to clean the inside of your front teeth with short up-and-down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue gently to get rid of germs that cause bad breath.
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