How To Brush Like a Dentist

How To Brush Like a Dentist


Good oral hygiene is the cornerstone of a healthy smile, and at the heart of this practice lies effective brushing. While many people might think of brushing as a straightforward task, it's far more complex and precise than meets the eye.

The way you brush your teeth can significantly impact your dental health, and learning how to brush like a pro is essential for maintaining a beautiful and resilient smile. 

Let’s spend some time talking about how to brush effectively no matter what type of toothbrush or smile you have!

Key Considerations

Before we dive into the specifics of professional brushing techniques, let's cover some crucial considerations that set the stage for effective oral care:

  • The Right Toothpaste with Fluoride: The choice of toothpaste matters. Opt for a toothpaste that contains fluoride, a mineral that plays a vital role in strengthening tooth enamel and preventing decay.

  • The Right Toothbrush: Whether you prefer an electric or manual toothbrush, ensure it suits your needs. For manual brushes, select one with a smaller head to access hard-to-reach areas effectively.

  • Toothpaste Quantity: Less is more when it comes to toothpaste. A pea-sized amount is all you need for a thorough cleaning.

  • The Right Time: Brush twice a day—once in the morning and once at night. If you've just eaten, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging your enamel weakened by food acids.

  • Time Management: Dedicate a full two minutes to each brushing session. This ensures you spend enough time on each tooth and surface.

Step-by-Step Guide - Manual Toothbrush

Now that we've laid the foundation let's delve into a step-by-step guide for mastering the art of brushing with a manual toothbrush. This technique is known as the modified bass technique, and it's favored by dental professionals for its effectiveness:

Step 1: Front Surfaces of Teeth

Start by placing the brush at a 45-degree angle on the front surface of a tooth. Ensure the bristles make contact with both the tooth and the gumline. Begin with the last tooth in one corner.

Step 2: Don’t Forget the Gums

Move the brush in small circular motions ensuring that the entire surface of the tooth and gum line are covered. This motion helps remove plaque and debris effectively. As you move to the next tooth, continue the same motion and make your way round each and every tooth at the bottom, and each and every tooth at the top. 

Step 3: Inside Surfaces of back Teeth

Next, ensure you brush the inside surfaces of your back teeth in a similar motion. Use circular motions, covering the entire surface of the tooth and also the gumline

Step 4: Inside surfaces of bottom front Teeth

Hold the brush vertically and use up-and-down motions for the inside surfaces of your bottom front teeth. 

Step 5: Inside surfaces of top front Teeth

Repeat the vertical up-and-down motions for the inside surfaces of your top front teeth.

Step 6: Biting Surfaces of Teeth

Lastly, make sure you get the biting surfaces of your teeth- giving them a good scrub

The Modified Bass Technique is not just a random series of motions; it's rooted in dental science. By positioning the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and focusing on circular motions, you effectively target the gumline—a common hiding place for plaque. 

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria and debris that can lead to cavities and gum problems. The circular motions dislodge this plaque while simultaneously massaging and stimulating your gums, promoting better gum health.

Step-by-Step Guide - Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes, particularly those with round heads, simplify the brushing process as they perform circular motions on their own. Here's how to effectively use an electric toothbrush:

Step 1: Front Surfaces of Teeth

Gently place and hold the brush on the front surface of a tooth, starting at the last tooth for a few seconds.  Ensure a 45-degree angle to brush the gumline. Then, gradually move forward to the next tooth, making your way around.

Step 2: Biting Surfaces of Teeth

Transition to the biting surfaces of your teeth, holding the brush for a few seconds on each tooth before moving to the next.

Step 3: Inside surfaces of top and bottom Teeth 

For the inside surfaces of your teeth, follow the same systematic approach—hold the brush for a few seconds on each tooth and move forward.

Remember to angle the brush properly to reach the gumline and maintain a systematic pattern to ensure no surface of any tooth is missed.

Bonus Tips for Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can be tricky to reach, especially if your toothbrush head is too large. Here are some top tips:

Half Open Your Jaw: 

Instead of fully opening your jaw, pull your cheek out of the way with your finger for easier access to the wisdom teeth.

Single Tufted Brush

Consider using a single tufted brush for hard-to-reach impacted wisdom teeth. This specialized brush has a 90-degree angled head, ideal for getting into those tricky areas.

Brushing Like a Pro 

Effective brushing isn't just about the act itself; it's about technique, precision, and consistency. Whether you opt for a manual or electric toothbrush, mastering the art of brushing like a dentist is an investment in your oral health.

By following these step-by-step guidelines and bonus tips, you can achieve a thorough and professional-level clean, ensuring a bright and healthy smile for years to come.