How to Brush Teeth Properly

Dentists and parents always encourage brushing teeth for consistent oral hygiene, but does everyone really know how to brush teeth properly?

Brushing properly using the right techniques may make all the difference when removing daily bacteria and plaque buildup. Daily brushing and flossing and routine dental appointments are key to pristine oral hygiene—no matter a patient’s age.

Dr. Alexander Ash of Studio Dental Care in Studio City, CA offers tips, facts, and information regarding general dentistry procedures.

How to Brush Properly:

  1. Begin by using a toothbrush that fits comfortably in your hands

This may seem like a no brainer, but patients who use a toothbrush that is too bulky or, on the contrary, too small, tend to brush more aggressively. Consider a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush that fits comfortably in your palm, depending on individual preferences. Make sure that power or force only aids in brushing teeth, rather than irritating gums.

  1. Dentists often recommend using a toothbrush with soft bristles

Hard bristles, which may remove plaque, may cause more damage to the oral cavity by irritating gums, causing swelling and bleeding. Extra soft bristles should be used for patients who suffer from extreme sensitivity.

  1. When brushing, hold the brush so bristles are at a 45 degree angle

A 45 degree angle will help eliminate plaque and tartar buildup with minimal effort. Make sure to keep the 45 degree angle when brushing the fronts, tops, and backs of teeth to remove plaque from the surface of teeth.

  1. Brush teeth twice a day or 30 minutes after each meal

Brushing twice a day may be sufficient for patients with great oral hygiene, but for those patients with poorer oral hygiene, brushing 30 minutes after each meal or snack may be more beneficial. It is also important to teach this habit to children at a young age, while adults may need a refresher every now and then. When brushing, aim for two minutes—try setting a timer or playing the entirety of a favorite song.

  1. To freshen breath, brush the tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scrapper

Using mouthwash may be beneficial for short bursts of fresh breath, but brushing the tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scrapper will help to remove foul smelling bacteria and plaque in the long run. The surface of the tongue is coated with papillae, or slightly raised membranes that can trap plaque. To best manage oral care, brush your teeth and tongue regularly.

Dr. Alexander Ash of Studio Dental Care proudly provides information and articles to dental patients in order to promote pristine oral health. For more information on how to brush properly or to make an appointment, contact Dr. Ash at

Dr. Ash is the founder of Studio Dental Care. He earned his Doctorate at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, followed by two General Residencies at New York-Presbyterian / Weill-Cornell Hospital and the UCLA Sepulveda VA Hospital.

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