How to Brush Your Teeth: Five Steps for a Healthy Smile

Do you want to know how to brush your teeth to keep your mouth really clean? With proper technique and the correct tools, you can always have a healthy, bright smile. Brush up on your teeth-cleaning skills, and effectively get rid of mouth germs to prevent oral health problems, such as bad breath and tooth decay.

Start with the Correct Tools

The first step to brushing well is to use the appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste. The American Dental Association says that both manual and powered brushes can effectively clean your mouth. Simply choose a brush that is comfortable for you and that can easily clean back teeth and other hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Colgate�� 360�� has a flexible head and innovative tongue cleaner, which are great for getting rid of the bacteria in your mouth. Add a stream of fluoride toothpaste, and you are ready to clean and protect that smile!

Clean Outer Surfaces

How do you brush your teeth like a professional? A methodical approach will ensure that you are being thorough every time you brush your teeth. Begin by tilting your brush at an angle and gently sweeping it back and forth along the gum line for both the front and back of the upper teeth; brushing this way also at the gum line for the lower teeth too. Brush the front six teeth on the upper and lower teeth on the inside by the palate and tongue using the tip of the toothbrush using up and down strokes to remove plaque from the gumline and the back of these teeth.

Clean Chewing Surfaces

It takes a full two minutes to effectively clean your teeth. After brushing the gum line and outer surfaces, it is time to focus on the chewing surfaces. The chewing surfaces are not as smooth as the front and back of your teeth, and substances stick to uneven surfaces more easily. Using gentle back-and-forth strokes, brush these areas well to prevent buildup.

Clean Your Tongue

To keep your mouth healthy, don't just brush your teeth. Scrub your tongue as well to remove bacteria. Brushing your tongue is important for routine bad breath prevention.

Do It All Again

You've done it! You've learned how to brush your teeth and scrubbed and removed plaque and germs. Your teeth feel clean and smooth, and your mouth feels fresh. Now it is time to keep up your amazing brushing habits. Brush twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You can talk to your dentist about brushing more frequently if you feel that your teeth could use the extra cleaning.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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How to FLOSS

  1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.

  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.

  3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.

How to BRUSH

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.

  2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.

  3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.

  4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.

  5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.