Gum Brushing 101 with Boulder Dental Arts
Patricia Saxon of Boulder Dental Arts here to share our first in a series of informational videos. We will be discussing all of your frequently asked questions here at Boulder Dental Arts, starting with proper toothbrushing techniques, which we call “Gum Brushing.” Everyone that sits in our chair at Boulder Dental Arts needs to know how to brush properly. First, let’s start with the basics, your equipment:
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
Everyone thinks there is some kind of special toothbrush that will improve your toothbrushing experience, but I’m here to debunk that myth! There are no special toothbrushes, mouth rinses, or toothpastes that will protect your oral health better than the next. All you need is a standard toothbrush (which we’ll provide at your next appointment) and attention to the proper technique.
Proper Technique: How to Brush Your Gums
Every twenty minutes, whether you eat or not, your body is producing bacterial plaque. This plaque begins to accumulate between our gums and our teeth and needs to be removed before it becomes too tough for our tooth brushes to handle. Our goal with gum brushing is to target the space where the tooth and the gum overlap to disturb that plaque before it colonizes on your tooth enamel.
Step One: Use the Tip of Your Toothbrush
To properly gum brush we want to focus on using the bristles at the very tip of your tooth brush. Push these bristles up between your tooth and your gum to remove bacterial plaque. Note: if your gums bleed the first few times you do this, it’s ok! That means you’re fighting gum disease and improving your oral health.
Step Two: Work from Back to Front
Start with your toothbrush in the back of your mouth, on your furthest molar, and brush each tooth individually until you reach your front teeth. Then, move your toothbrush to your opposite molar and begin again, working your way back around to your front teeth. Be sure to brush the insides and outsides of all of your teeth!
Step Three: Move Your Toothbrush in a Circular Movement
Move your toothbrush in a circular movement on each tooth, instead of a back and forth movement across your entire row of teeth. This will help you target the area where the gum overlaps your tooth and also insure your properly cleaning the spaces between your teeth.
What? No Toothpaste?
You may have noticed that I’m not using any toothpaste during my demonstration! Yes, my teeth are still getting clean because I’m using the proper gum brushing technique to remove plaque before it colonizes on my teeth. If you’d still like to keep toothpaste in your routine, try dry brushing for the first 2 minutes, then add some toothpaste and brush for an additional minute.
The Three T’s of Toothbrushing
I tell all of my patients to remember the Three T’s of Toothbrushing; time, twice, and technique.
- Time: Always brush for a duration of at least 2-3 minutes being careful to brush the inside and outside of all your teeth!
- Twice: Always brush twice a day! If you’re not brushing your teeth at least twice a day you’re going to be facing serious oral health issues as you age. Twice daily at least!
- Technique: Be sure to use the gum brushing technique outlined above to remove harmful plaque and protect your gum health.
Have any questions about the information shared above or concerned about your oral hygiene? Come visit us at Boulder Dental Arts for a cleaning and periodontal evaluation!