Proper brushing

Dear Dr. Elli
I love your sites and blog. Thank you so much for putting such good, realistic advice online. I have a question for you and it seems like it should be simple, but I don’t really know the answer: What is the best way to brush your teeth?

Thanks, I look forward to hearing back from you.
S W.

Dear S,

Thanks for writing in. The general rule is to spend 2 minutes brushing twice a day. You should hold your brush at an approximate 45-degree angle against your gumline. Brush gently from where the tooth and gum meet to end of the tooth in small light strokes. If you brush too hard you could potentially cause receeding gums or tooth sensitivity.

Do the same thing on the outside and inside of your teeth. Then to clean the ends of your teeth, (the chewing serfaces) use short strokes, getting into the pits and corners.

Don’t forget to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth and the insides of your cheeks too!

When you are done brushing, rinse thoroughly with Listerine, and then with ACT. First to clean the mouth and then to protect thr teeth with the fluoride.

Dip your brush in Listerine to clean it before your next brushing to kill any bacteria that may have gotten on it from being in the bathroom (yuck!) You don’t want to put that back into your mouth.

I hope this helps Happy Brushing!

Ellie Phillips, DDS

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  • Anonymous says:

    My oldest son has brushed until his gums are receeding. Will a soft toothbrush correct this?(He’s determined to keep cavities out of his mouth!;-)

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Cavities cannot be “brushed” away. You brush plaque and debris off your teeth – but this may not stop cavities. If your son has receding gums, I would guess that he has mouth acidity problems – possibly also associated with a dry mouth.What causes “mouth acidity” ? Many things can cause mouth acidity – including drinking soda, citrus and other fruit juices, lemonade etc.Listerine is also acidic – never rinse with Listerine before brushing. Listerine has a serious acidity factor.He should try Listerine in the regimen I recommend. My advice – have your son use my Complete Mouth Care System for at least two weeks – the way I say EXACTLY – his teeth will feel so clean and so healthy.The Zellies toothbrush is a perfect toothbrush and Crest toothpaste is just right for teeth – not too abrasive. Toothpaste can be a problem – beware of pastes that are for plaque or tarter control – they can be very abrasive. Good luck – Try to get your son on my system and let me know if you have more questions.Thanks for your interest, Ellie

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