In order to clean the teeth effectively, you have to thoroughly remove the dental plaque that adheres on the tooth surfaces, false teeth and orthodontic appliances. The accumulation of plaque will cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Clean the tooth surfaces by toothbrushing

Toothbrushing can remove dental plaque on tooth surfaces. We should brush our teeth in the morning and before bed at night every day. Thorough removal of plaque can prevent Periodontal Disease.

Place the toothbrush at an angle towards the gingival margin (gum margin)

The toothbrush head should be placed with the tips of the bristles tilted at an angle towards the gingival sulcus which is located at the gingival margin, and where plaque tends to accumulate.

Animation of a longitudinal section of a tooth and its surrounding tissue, showing the accumulation of plaque in the gingival sulcus between the tooth and the free gingival margin.
Dental plaque accumulates in the sulcus
Photograph of a toothbrush placing with the tips of the bristles tilted at an angle towards the gingival margin
Place the tips of the bristles tilted at an angle towards the gingival margin

Brush the teeth systematically
Photograph  of a toothbrush brushing the outer surfaces of lower teeth.
1. Firstly, brush the outer surfaces of the lower teeth. The toothbrush head should be placed with the tips of the bristles tilted at an angle towards the gingival margin. Gently move the toothbrush in small scrubbing motions, working on two to three teeth at one time.
Photograph  of a toothbrush brushing the inner surfaces of lower teeth.
2. Then brush the inner surfaces of teeth in the same way as brushing the outer surfaces.
Photograph  of a toothbrush brushing the inner surfaces of lower incisors. 3. When we brush the inner surfaces of front teeth, we should hold the toothbrush upright using gentle motion brushing from the gingival margin towards the crowns of the teeth.
Photograph  of a toothbrush brushing the chewing surfaces of lower teeth. 4. Then brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with the toothbrush moving backward and forward.
5. Finally, brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the upper teeth in the same way as the lower one.
Video display:Toothbrushing Method

Points to note

  • Even if you have grasped the toothbrushing technique, it is important to use appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Toothbrushing cannot remove plaque from the adjacent tooth surfaces. They have to be cleaned by dental floss, floss holder or interdental brush.
  • The order of brushing and flossing or interdental brushing does not affect the effectiveness of tooth cleaning. As long as you do these jobs thoroughly, you can achieve satisfactory results.

Solutions to common problems encountered during toothbrushing

  • Bristles can hardly reach some areas:
    Areas that are hard to be reached by a toothbrush are difficult to be cleaned by toothbrushing, for example, the inner surfaces of lower teeth or crooked teeth. The solution is to clean with a small head toothbrush or a single-tuft toothbrush.
  • Gagging when brushing:
    Some people may gag when they brush their teeth. To improve this situation, you can choose to use a toothbrush with a small head.
  • The gum bleeds and hurts when brushing:
    The accumulation of dental plaque causes gingival inflammation. In that case, the gum will bleed when brushing. You can choose to use a toothbrush with soft bristles to clean away the plaque in such areas. Gingival inflammation will slowly subside and the gingivae will become healthy when the oral hygiene has improved.