Are You Brushing Your Teeth All Wrong?

Whatever your tooth brushing habits were as a kid you probably just continued on, despite recommendations you may have received from your dentist.

But that layer of grit you feel when you run your tongue over your teeth is real, and a good sign that you’re probably not actually brushing correctly. For better dental care, try these simple dos and don’ts.

Use a Soft-Bristle Brush

For many people, there’s nothing more satisfying than a hard-bristle brush. Those toothbrush fibers feel like they’re really getting in between the crevices and scraping off the plaque. The end result is a clean-feeling mouth that tingles. In contrast, a soft-bristle brush may not even feel like it’s doing anything, let alone scrubbing off the remnants of your dinner.

But you’re actually wrong! A hard-bristle brush will only wear away at your gums, and won’t clean your teeth any better than a soft-bristle brush. The key is to use the bristles to their full potential. Choose a brush that allows you to reach every part of your mouth, and then get to work!

Move Your Toothbrush

You should be aiming for a 45° angle when you start, meaning the handle should be pointed across the teeth and not toward the floor. Once it’s poised, move it back and forth or in a circular motion when brushing the outside of your teeth. Ideally, you should be scrubbing the length of a single tooth, so get ready to give your wrist a little more action than usual.

Make sure you get the outside, inside and bottom: leave no (figurative) stone unturned. For the inside of your teeth, turn the brush handle into a vertical line and use an up-and-down motion rather than side-to-side. For your back molars, clench your teeth together and reach the toothbrush straight back to make sure you’re getting all of them. You may also want to move your lower jaw out of the way to have even more space.

Everyone wants to brush their teeth the right way, and it mainly just takes a little awareness on your part. If you’re looking for better dentistry in Boise, then give Lowry Dental a call! 


  1. It’s interesting that a hard bristle brush will just wear down the gums which could actually cause damage in the mouth. I didn’t realize that it could be so problematic for the bristles to be rough although it makes sense that plaque doesn’t take a lot to get off. I’ll have to keep this in mind for my kids because I haven’t paid too much attention to my children’s brushes and getting soft bristled from now on could be very helpful to stop the pain they’re experiencing.

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