What is the best way to brush the teeth? I notice, even after I brush my teeth, I can still feel with my tongue that I still have some small food particles lodged between my teeth. How do I ensure that I have cleaned my teeth enough without injuring my gums in the process?
This is actually an excellent question, the answer to which is quite unknown to many people. First, when brushing your teeth, do not hurry up the process. Many people just go through the motion of brushing. Brushing is not necessarily cleaning. Brushing takes only a few seconds, if you want it that way. But cleaning requires focus and time.
The first step is to floss between your teeth. Many people floss only when they feel something between their teeth. But flossing is an integral part of dental care. Flossing is not only to remove food particles; it is also to prevent the build-up of tartar and plaque.
After flossing, moisten your toothbrush with water and apply a thin strip of toothpaste. You don’t need a lot of toothpaste. When you put a lot of paste on your brush, a lot of it simply lands on your sink. Try to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride. Toothpaste does not need to be popular or expensive. An expensive toothpaste is not better; it is just better promoted through expensive advertisements.
Start brushing with your upper molars (back teeth) on your left side and work in a clockwise direction. Be gentle. Remember, harder is not better. Harder may even result in gum injury. Point the bristles toward the gum line, in a 45-degree angle. Use a short circular motion for half a minute or so.
After the half-minute, roll the brush head away from the gum line, to allow the bristles to sweep the surface of the tooth, removing the food and plaque. Continue working in a clockwise direction, ending with the lower molars on your left side.
Then, repeat the steps for the inside surface of the upper and lower molars. Be reminded that harder is not better.
Next, brush the lingual or the back surface of the upper-front teeth by using the tip of the toothbrush head. Direct the bristles toward the gum line, and use a flicking motion down the surface of the tooth. Do this 2 to 3 times.
After that, point the bristles of the tip of the toothbrush toward the gum line. Flick the bristles up, away from the gum line in a sweeping motion. Do this 2 to 3 times also.
Then, brush the biting surface of the upper and lower premolars and molars, using a circular motion. And, using a gentle circular motion, brush your tongue for half a minute and the inside of your cheeks for another half-minute.
Finish the tooth cleaning process by rinsing your entire mouth with either water or your choice of mouthwash. You may want to use lukewarm water with a pinch of iodized salt – especially when you feel pain when cold water touches your sensitive teeth.