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.
Photograph 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

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.

2. Then brush the inner surfaces of teeth in the same way as brushing the outer surfaces.
Animation of a toothbrush brushing the inner surfaces of lower teeth.

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.
Animation of a toothbrush brushing the inner surfaces of lower incisors.

4. Then brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with the toothbrush moving backward and forward.
Animation of a toothbrush brushing the chewing surfaces of lower teeth.

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

Solutions to common problems encountered during toothbrushing

Last revision date: 18 January 2012