Proper Brushing Technique

Perhaps we have all heard the recommendation to brush our teeth twice a day. In fact, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Additionally, you should floss your teeth at least once a day. There are several steps to a daily oral care routine with which we might be familiar. You may know the steps to take to keep your mouth clean. But, have you ever thought about HOW you are supposed to brush your teeth?

You may think that your technique doesn’t matter as your teeth get brushed. However, that is not necessarily true. How you brush your teeth does matter. If you don’t brush your teeth properly, you may not be cleaning your teeth as well as you should. In fact, you could cause damage to your teeth and gums by brushing them incorrectly. So, how should you brush your teeth? What should you avoid? 

Proper Brushing

For a proper brushing, you should gently brush your teeth in a small circular motion. It can be tempting to brush from left to right. However, a circular motion removes plaque and food particles from your teeth more efficiently. Additionally, it can get between your teeth and under your gum line. 

You should begin with either your top teeth or your bottom teeth and move from one side to the other. For example, if you start with your top teeth, you should complete brushing all your top teeth before proceeding to your bottom teeth. It can be helpful to brush one tooth at a time to ensure you clean efficiently enough. 

When you begin brushing, start with the outside surface of your teeth. Then, you should brush the chewing surface of your teeth. Finally, you must be sure to brush the inner sides of your teeth. In addition, you need to brush your gum line gently. This will ensure that you remove as much plaque as possible. 

When brushing the chewing surface of your teeth, switch to a short, back-and-forth brushing motion to dislodge food particles. Also, the inner surface of your teeth requires a back-and-forth motion from tooth to tooth. 

You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes. This allows you enough time to clean each surface of your teeth thoroughly. 

More Brushing Tips

Make sure that you brush your teeth gently. Harsh brushing can eventually lead to enamel erosion, receding gums, and tooth sensitivity. In addition, your enamel protects your teeth from tooth decay. This means that you can become susceptible to cavities even though you brush your teeth regularly. 

Another important brushing tip lies with your toothbrush. You should select a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Not only are soft bristles gentle on your teeth and gums, but they can also bend to brush underneath your gum line and between your teeth. This provides you with the maximum amount of cleaning from your brushing routine. 

You should also have a toothbrush that has a smaller head. This allows you to clean in places that are tough to reach. 


Harry W. McCool, DDS, PC
Lilburn, GA Dentist

645 Beaver Ruin Rd NW, Suite A
Lilburn, GA 30047

New Patients (770) 450-4407

Current Patients (770) 381-9320


Monday - Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Schedule Appointment