Have You Been Brushing Your Teeth All Wrong?

by | Oct 20, 2015

It happens every once in a while. You’re browsing across the Internet looking at articles on how to improve yourself on the day to day, and an article with an accusatory headline pops into your feed. Something you have done your whole life is somehow wrong, and the one telling you this is even a brand you trust. I came across this video by Colgate recently. It was highlighted in an article with a sensational headline like the one I described above. Perhaps we have all been brushing our teeth the wrong way for years. Have a look and see what you think.

Who Brushes Their Teeth Like This?

The method described in the video above is called the Modified Bass Technique. Colgate has actually done a strong job of presenting it here, but just because this method will work well for cleaning your teeth does not mean that it’s the only way that works. In reality, dentists have long argued about the best way to brush the teeth. When it was last discussed at large, the modified bass method gained the approval of approximately 6 out of 10 dentists. That’s certainly a majority, but it’s not definitively agreed upon as the only way to brush your teeth.
So what can we take from all of this?

Brushing Your Teeth Is Not Complicated

Even if you don’t want to brush with the modified bass technique, there are a few things we can take from the video instructions above.

Use a Soft Bristle Toothbrush

The softer the brush, the easier it will be to get under the gumline and into the crevices of the teeth. Stiff bristles can even cause wear to the enamel of your teeth over time, so if you prefer a stiff brush, try switching to a medium for a few months.

Brush Twice a Day

Brushing once in the morning when you wake up, and once more before you head to bed will keep your teeth clean, and your breath fresh. You can brush after each meal if you prefer, but twice a day is all your dentist will ask of you.

Remember to Clean the Inner Surfaces of Your Teeth

Not too many people besides your dentist will ever see the inside surface of your smile, but that’s where plaque and bacteria like to build up the most. For healthy teeth and gums, we need to brush all sides.

Brush the Tongue and the Insides of Your Cheek

For fresh breath all day, we need to remember that bacteria is not solely located on our teeth enamel. I actually like to suggest a tongue scraper for patients, though if you don’t have one, brushing the tongue with toothpaste can do the job as well.

Take Your Time Brushing

2 Minutes is a good benchmark, but there’s no need to keep a stopwatch by the sink. The important lesson here is to take your time. Make sure you reach all the areas you need to reach in order to clean your mouth to satisfaction, and don’t rush yourself.

If we can remember to do these things, we’ll always have good breath, healthy gums and a happy dentist.