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Brushing techniques: just in case you forgot

Brushing techniques: just in case you forgot

When it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene, there are many steps and processes you can use to do so; flossing, mouthwash, specialised diet, etc. However, one of the most effective, and widely used methods for ensuring high quality oral hygiene is brushing.

Yet, what is not known to many is there are a variety of methods you can use to make sure your brushing is more effective at cleaning your teeth, and removing tartar and plaque build-up. Not to mention food that has been caught in the gaps between your teeth.

We are going to cover four different, yet most commonly used methods, for brushing your teeth in a more effective manner.

Stillman’s Brushing Method.

With this method the aim is to remove plaque from above the gum line, and is also good for patients with gingivitis.

Technique: angle the bristles at 45 degrees toward the gum line. The bristles should be half on the gums and half on the tooth’s surface. By making short, light horizontal movements, the plaque is removed from above the gum line. The motion helps to remove plaque and stimulate the gums, and is great for targeting small groups of teeth effectively. Once you have finished with a set of teeth, move to the next and repeat.

Bass (Sulcular) Brushing Method.

The aim with this method is to remove plaque from below the gum line and is the preferred method for patients with periodontitis.

Technique: hold bristles at 45 degree angle towards gum line. Slight pressure and vibratory motions will make sure the bristles go slightly beneath the gum line, which maximizes the extraction and removal of bacteria. Once again, only small groups of teeth can be done at any one time.

**The Stillman and Bass methods can be ‘modified’ by gently sweeping bristles away from the gums. **

Charter’s Brushing Method.

Best for people with orthodontic braces.

Technique: position the bristles at a 45 degree angle, and direct them so they remove plaque from the brackets and arch wire. Then change direction so the bristles remove plaque from below the brackets and arch wire. This will ensure all plaque is removed from the surfaces of the braces.

Circular Brushing Method.

This is the one we were all taught as children, and definitely one of the most used methods.

Technique: One of the easiest around, with the bristles held at a 45 degree angle toward the gum line, make small, light circular shaped brush strokes that overlap each tooth surface. Maintain this until all teeth have been cleaned.

Even given the extra benefits all the above methods provide, it is still recommended that you continue to brush the chewing surfaces, as well as the back of the bottom and front teeth, and tongue, by lightly scrubbing up and down. Also, remember to use a soft bristled brush. It’s also recommended that you ask your dentist about what method would best suit you.

So the next time you are at Somerset Dental Care for a check-up, ask one of our friendly doctors and they will be more than happy to advise you on the best method to suit your needs.