Back to Basics: Are You Brushing Your Teeth Properly?

Back to Basics: Are You Brushing Your Teeth Properly?

It’s something we do without thinking, so it’s easy to fall into bad habits when brushing our teeth. Here’s the expert advice you need to know.

Go on, admit it. When was the last time you really thought about how you brush your teeth?  We’re always teaching our children about good oral hygiene, but sometimes it pays to give our own tooth brushing methods a check-up, too.


So, to help you make the most of your smile, here are some handy brushing dos and don’ts. Grab your toothbrush and read on…




Make it a habit. Experts advise cleaning your teeth morning and night, and ideally – if you’re diligent – a third time during the day, such as after eating lunch.

Have a plan. Picture your teeth in your head as you brush, and work from top to bottom, left to right, covering the insides, outsides and chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Time yourself. Done properly, cleaning your teeth should take a full two minutes. Focus on hitting each of the four ‘quadrants’ of your mouth for 30 seconds each. Test yourself using a stopwatch – you’re probably brushing for a lot less time than you think!

Use small movements. Start by holding your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and rolling or sweeping it away from the gum line, to brush bacteria away from your gums. Next, gently brush your teeth with small circular or back-and-forth movements to make sure every surface is covered.


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Try an electric toothbrush with an oscillating (moving) head. Research has shown they can be more effective at removing plaque and getting your teeth really clean. Find out which model is your perfect match here (link to locally specific page []).

Pick the right toothpaste. For maximum protection, you should use a toothpaste containing at least 1,350 ppm (parts per million) fluoride. There’s a huge range of different formulas available, including toothpastes specially-designed for sensitive teeth, stains, gum health, smokers and tartar control. Ask your dentist which one is right for you. 



Use a brush with firm bristles (or too firm a touch). Hard bristles can damage your gums, so opt for soft or medium nylon bristles instead. And be careful you’re not brushing too hard either, as this can leave a lasting impression on gums.

Use a big toothbrush head. It’s best to use a small or compact head with a variety of short and long bristles, as this is the best way to clean each tooth effectively – especially those at the back of your mouth. 

Go overboard with toothpaste. You only need a pea-sized amount to properly clean the whole mouth, and if you opt for a formula like Oral-B Pro-Expert Strong Teeth Toothpaste (link to a specific product page), you’ll rejuvenate and strengthen your teeth – from the exposed root to the tip – every time you brush.

Forget to clean your tongue. When you’ve finished cleaning your teeth, give your tongue a quick brush to remove bacteria and keep your breath smelling fresh.

Rinse! Rinsing your mouth with water after cleaning your teeth will dilute or wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste, making it less effective. 

Use mouthwash immediately after brushing. It’ll wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste that’s left on your teeth. Instead, use mouthwash before brushing or separately, for example, to freshen-up after lunch. Oral-B Complete Mouthwash (link to a specific product page) cleans in places that you can't easily reach with your toothbrush, making it an essential part of your routine.

Do you have any great brushing tips? We’d love you to share them with us in the comments below and for more helpful advice, visit Oral B (link to Oral B BLP). 

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