We all know the importance of brushing our teeth thoroughly, twice a day, but do you know the best way to do it?

Here, the team from CK Dental practice in Bristol explains the most effective way to brush your teeth if you want to reduce plaque and save yourself from having to undergo expensive and invasive dental work in future.

For a really thorough clean, most dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush, but you should be able to get good results from a manual brush if you follow these tips.

Set a timer

The two minute rule is more than just a guideline. You really should brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, aiming to spend 30 seconds on each of the four sections of your mouth – upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left.

If you do use an electric toothbrush, it will probably have a built-in timer that will tell you when your two minutes is up, but if you are using a manual brush, it can be useful to have a clock, or even an egg timer close to hand. Egg timers are particularly useful for children.

Get the position right

It isn’t necessarily about brushing your teeth as hard as you can – in fact, brushing too hard can damage the enamel of your teeth and erode your gums – but about getting the angle of the brush right, so you remove all food particles and plaque-causing bacteria.

When brushing the inner and outer surfaces of the teeth, you should hold the brush at about a 45 degree angle and use short, gentle strokes, remembering to target the gum line where most food gets trapped.

For the chewing surfaces, hold the toothbrush flat against the tooth and brush backwards and forwards using slightly longer strokes.

For the insides of your front teeth, use just the tip of the brush to brush gently upwards and downwards.

Don’t forget your tongue

Food particles can get caught on the surface of your tongue, so it’s important to brush the surface of your tongue from back to front, using long sweeping strokes, to remove these particles along with any bacteria, freshening your breath.

To check up on how effective your toothbrushing routine is, why not book a routine dental exam here at Bristol dental practice CK Dental.