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Tooth Brushing 101 from the McCarl Dental Group

December 21, 2015 in Dental Hygiene,General dentistry by mccarl_dental


Most adults have been brushing their teeth since they were toddlers, and many of them haven’t changed their brushing technique since then. A daily tooth brushing and flossing routine is the only way to ensure optimal oral health between dental checkups at McCarl Dental Group in Millersville, MD. Watch this informative video starring one of our knowledgeable dental hygienists, Sally Moore, who shares tips for effective tooth brushing, or keep reading to find out more.

Brushing Basics

When it comes to tooth brushing, most people are doing it wrong, and they don’t even know it. The majority of patients believe that running the brush back and forth across the surfaces of teeth or in large circles removes plaque and bacteria adequately. To thoroughly clean teeth, remove plaque, and keep your smile healthy, follow these simple instructions:

  • Start with the right tools. Always use a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush. Medium or hard bristled brushes can irritate soft tissue, and are too abrasive for tooth enamel.
  • Using your soft toothbrush, concentrate cleaning efforts on the place where the teeth and gums meet.
  • Angle the brush slightly upwards toward the gums (a 45 degree angle is ideal), and place the brush against teeth at the gum line.
  • GENTLY move the tooth brush in small circles or quick back and forth vibration motions over just one or two teeth at a time (see video for a demonstration). Don’t make big circles or move the brush back and forth across numerous teeth.
  • Do this for the inside and outside of every single tooth, and brush the biting surfaces of teeth as well.

Advanced Tooth Brushing Tips

  • 2 minutes of brushing is not just a recommendation. It’s essential for proper dental care. If you do not brush for at least two minutes at a time, you are not removing the sticky plaque buildup from the day.
  • Brush Systematically NOT randomly. A recent British Broadcast Company investigative report into dental health revealed that one of the main mistakes people make when brushing their teeth is to brush randomly. Brushing for two minutes with no systematic way of ensuring every tooth was cleaned resulted in a large amount of plaque remaining on teeth. Without changing any brushing technique or style, participants were asked to brush each “quadrant” of their mouth for 30 seconds. The result was less than ½ as much plaque remaining. Developing a habit of systematic cleaning also makes it easier to ensure you brush for 2 full minutes.
  • Consider brushing with a sonic speed electric toothbrush. Sonicare toothbrushes clean teeth with two mechanisms, mechanical scrubbing of the teeth, gums and tongue and fluid dynamics that can also dislodge microorganisms from tooth surfaces. We find that patients are more likely to brush systematically for two minutes twice daily when using an electric toothbrush.

Contact us for Dental Checkups in Millersville

When it’s time for your six month dental checkup, call McCarl Dental Group at Shipley’s Choice in Millersville. Our skilled dentistry team strives to help patients achieve and maintain their healthiest smiles, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

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8601 Veterans Hwy, Suite 101, Millersville, MD 21108 USA
Dr. Clayton McCarl, Jr. Millersville, MD cosmetic, restorative, & preventive dentistry. infoshipleys@mccarldental.com
28 Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770 USA
Dr. Clayton McCarl, Jr. Greenbelt, MD cosmetic, restorative, & preventive dentistry. (301) 474-4144 infogreenbelt@mccarldental.com