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The tips and techniques of toothbrushing have changed a bit over the years. If you haven’t had a refresher for awhile, it’s time to revisit the basics again.

First to consider, is the proper toothbrush and toothpaste. Nearly every dental expert will tell you that a soft-bristled, small head toothbrush is most recommended. This is for two reasons, the soft bristles help to keep you from brushing too hard, which can be damaging, and the small head allows you to reach the difficult places in your. The toothpaste you choose needs to contain fluoride. Other than that, there are a multitude of specialties you can consider: Tooth whitening, sensitive teeth, gum disease, bad breath. Talk to your dentist if you have trouble deciding which is best for you.

Secondarily, you’ll want to know how often and how long to brush your teeth. It is the current doctrine among dentists that you should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes (120 seconds) each time.

Now for the “how to” instructions. Gently brush using short back-and-forth strokes, taking extra care of the gum line. Vigorous brushing is detrimental to the enamel on your teeth and damaging to your gums–especially if you have gum disease and they are already receding. Work the front and back, inside and outside, getting those difficult to reach back teeth and chewing surfaces. When working the gum line, angle your toothbrush at 45-degrees, placing it where the gum meets the tooth, and with a turn of the wrist, make a rolling/sweeping motion away from the gum. End by brushing your tongue and palate. This will make your fresh breath last longer.

If you’d like more information about proper toothbrushing techniques, call Drs. Page, Chally, and Boyle at Congress Dental Group. You can make an appointment at: 617-574-8700, or come by our office in Boston, Massachusetts.