Dental Health

Electric and manual teeth brushing techniques

To brush your teeth correctly can follow any of the electric and manual teeth brushing techniques proposed by dentists. We tell you which ones are considered the most effective.

Regardless of the method we choose, all brushing techniques have a common denominator: follow an order in brushing (start on one side and finish on the opposite and cover the upper, anterior, and posterior surfaces) and do it without haste, trying to reach the all ‘corners’, including the gum line and tongue.

Teeth brushing before or after breakfast

Two minutes, 2 times a day: For proper brushing, spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth using a recommended brushing technique, which involves brushing each quadrant of your mouth for 1 minute (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) after meal. although it is best to do it after each meal.

How to properly brush your teeth

The Fornes or rotation technique is recommended especially for the little ones in the house. It involves cleaning the upper teeth by rotating the brush downwards. On the other hand, the lower teeth must be cleaned by rotating the brush upwards. In this way, the bristles of the toothbrush will clean both the gums and the teeth thanks to the rotating movement. 

On the other hand, the Bass technique is a little more complex. The brush must be placed at a forty-five-degree angle between the tooth and the gum. The next step is to perform a horizontal movement. This is done to remove dental plaque.

The Charters technique is ideal for cleaning interproximal areas. To apply it, you must place the bristles of the toothbrush on the gingival edge. From this position it must be oriented at a 45-degree angle, directing the bristles toward the occlusal surface. The idea is to achieve vibratory movements in the interproximal areas. People who use this technique generally do so to clean around orthodontic appliances. 

The techniques stand out because their cleaning system does not leave any of the dental surfaces uncleaned. That is, by following any of these techniques your teeth will be completely clean. Additionally, all techniques use very orderly vibration movements to dislodge dental plaque.

Teeth brushing techniques and tongue

Finally, we must refer to tongue brushing. This is a very important part of oral hygiene. To achieve good tongue brushing, place the toothbrush near the middle of the tongue with the bristles directed toward the throat. The brush must be brought forward in a sweeping motion. It is advisable to repeat this action 6 to 8 times. The bristle head should be changed every two or three months or when it is observed that the bristles are not in good condition.

We hope that this information about tooth brushing techniques has been of interest to you and is useful to apply them in your daily life

Types of toothbrushes for teeth brushing techniques

There are many different brushes on the market. The most important thing of all is that the brush complies with health regulations, that is, it should come from a pharmacy or dental clinic.

Toothbrushes are made up of small hairs known as bristles that can be of two types:

*Pig hair bristles.

*Synthetic or nylon bristles.

Currently, it is recommended to use synthetic bristle toothbrushes. These in turn can have different degrees of hardness (high, medium, soft, or ultra-soft hardness).

Many people believe that the harder the bristles, the better the dental hygiene. This is a false belief since the ideal is for the hardness to be medium or soft. If your gums are healthy, you can use a medium hardness, and if you have a gingival problem, the ideal is to use a soft hardness brush.

We must not forget that the gums are just as important as the teeth and we must take care of them.

The types of toothbrushes that currently exist are:

Conventional brush:

It is the manual toothbrush that we all know. It has 3 or 4 rows of bristles. Depending on its hardness, it can be classified as ultra-soft, soft, normal, or hard.

Electric brush:

It is an automatic brush, which differs from the previous one in that it does not require manual movement of the wrist. Simply pass it over each tooth and all its faces (external or vestibular, internal or lingual, and occlusal or masticatory). The most current electric toothbrushes have a head that moves in the 3 dimensions of space alternately and alternating vibration movements, effectively removing all bacterial plaque.

Periodontal brush:

 This brush is indicated for patients with periodontal problems such as gingivitis periodontitis or pyorrhea. They are also known as the secular or crevicular brush. It has two strips of bristles and makes hygiene much easier for patients with gum discomfort.

Orthodontic brush

Brush with a normal head and soft and medium bristles whose profile is “V” shaped to obtain a triple cleaning of Orthodontic appliances, gums, and teeth).

Interproximal brush:

This type of brush is used to clean the space between tooth-tooth or tooth-tooth when said space is wide. It can also be used when there are bridges or splinted teeth. Different colors are depending on the size of the space.

A very important fact about toothbrushes is that their half-life is at most 3 months. During this time the bristles bend and open and it is advisable to change the brush since otherwise all brushing effectiveness will be lost.

Comparison of electric toothbrush and conventional toothbrush

The comparison of the benefits produced by the electric toothbrush versus the conventional one is highly debated. Regarding the ability to eliminate bacterial plaque, it has been seen that both types of brushes have the same capacity. Regarding the ability to damage the gums or lips, both types of brushes also have the same capacity. Regarding the ability to damage tooth enamel when using abrasive toothpaste, it has been suggested that electric toothbrushes cause less damage because users tend to put less pressure on the tooth surface than with a conventional toothbrush.

To summarize, the electric toothbrush can be useful in cases of physically or mentally handicapped people, and also sometimes to motivate children to brush. But enthusiasm can disappear over time and you take less care when brushing because you believe that the brush itself does everything. So patients who use electric toothbrushes should be evaluated periodically and provided with reinforcements whenever necessary.

Conventional brush vs electric brush

This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive daily in our dental clinic about oral hygiene.

From our point of view, the most important thing of all is not the toothbrush, but rather performing a correct brushing technique.

There are numerous studies and most have shown that both brushes have the same ability to remove plaque if the correct technique is used. Perhaps, electric toothbrushes have an advantage over the gums and enamel, as long as they have a built-in pressure sensor, which prevents excessive force from being exerted that could damage the enamel or gums, causing retraction.

Features of toothbrushes

Toothbrush bristles can be natural (pig or boar hair) or synthetic (nylon). Currently, the recommendation is to use brushes with synthetic bristles and a medium or soft degree of hardness.

Currently, there is a great diversity of brushes and we must always use the one that best suits our needs:

*Conventional brush: with 3 or 4 strips of bristles, it is the one we normally use.

*Periodontal brush: also called sulcular or crevicular, it has two strips of bristles. It is used in cases of gingival inflammation and deep periodontal grooves. It is also recommended for children with fixed orthodontics.

*Electric brush: has 3 types of horizontal movement, alternating, vertical arcuate, or vibrating. They can be especially useful in physically or mentally handicapped people, due to the simplicity of the operation for the patient or whoever helps them.

*Interproximal brushes: they are a tuft for the interdental spaces.

The average lifespan of a toothbrush is three months. However, this is very variable, so we will have to change the brush when we see that the bristles begin to bend sideways, as this could damage the gums, and when this happens the brush loses its cleaning function.

Top teeth brushing techniques

Bacterial plaque re-establishes itself on the tooth surface in less than 24 hours after its removal, so teeth should be brushed at least once a day. Ideally, brushing should be done after each meal, although it is recommended that more thorough brushing be done at night before going to bed. In children, a lot of emphasis must be placed on hygiene, since this is the period during which teeth are formed. In addition, great importance must be placed on brushing in children with orthodontic appliances.

For orthodontic patients, there are brushes specially designed with V- or U-shaped bristles. However, the sulcular brush is recommended to remove the sulcular plaque by making short and repeated horizontal movements.

In patients with removable partial or total dentures, they must be removed from the mouth and both the mucosa and the remaining teeth and also brush the prostheses with soap and water.

In disabled patients, special handles can be made to facilitate brushing, such as fixing the brush to the hand with an elastic band; bending the brush handle; Lengthen the handle with a piece of wood or plastic, and enlarging it with the grip of a bicycle handle or use an electric toothbrush. Although most of the time it is advisable to take these patients to dental clinics where there are personnel specialized in handicapped patients, where oral hygiene techniques are performed that are necessary in this type of patient.

Stillman brushing technique

This technique is recommended for those adult patients who do not have any type of periodontal disease. It is very similar to the Bass technique, but the only difference is that the filaments are placed on top of the gum. Subsequently, pressure is applied and the vibration is maintained for several seconds. At the end, a sweeping occlusal movement is made. Occlusion is the tooth surfaces that make contact with each other.

Fones brushing technique

This is a technique that is recommended for vestibular surfaces. The vestibular surfaces are those parts of the tooth that rub against the lips. To do it correctly, the teeth must be in occlusion or at rest. The brush is placed at a 90-degree angle on the buccal surface of the tooth. The surfaces are divided into six sectors and 10 rotary movements are executed in each sector. This technique is more recommended for children, due to its ease of learning, in contrast to the Bass technique.

Scrub brushing technique

This is a horizontal technique in which the brush filaments are also placed at 90 degrees on the vestibular surfaces, as in the Fones technique. The difference is that repeated movements are made from back to front on the arch. On the other hand, the oral cavity is divided into six parts, and 20 movements are made in each part.

This method is the favorite of children at an early age (preschool specifically) since they do not have as many abilities to carry out other more complex brushing techniques. In addition, it is an age in which they are fully developing their motor skills.

However, it is important to note that horizontal brushing increases enamel wear.

Horizontal sweep technique

Recommended for patients with orthodontics. Also for healthy patients or patients with gingival damage, the elderly, and people with minor motor difficulties.

The technique: the toothbrush is placed perpendicular to the teeth and vigorous horizontal movements are made along the dental line. Soft hard brushes are recommended to avoid injuring the gums.

Tooth brushing techniques bass

The most effective. Recommended for adult patients, both healthy and those with chronic periodontitis or poor dental position.

The technique: placing the toothbrush at an inclination of 45º concerning the junction of the tooth with the gum and performing very short vibrating movements (5 to 8 times), without moving the brush from its support point. On the occlusal (inner) surface of the teeth, quick vertical scrubbing movements will be made. The upper surface of the molars is brushed by rubbing from front to back.

What is the Bass technique?

The Bass technique is a toothbrushing technique created to effectively clean bacterial plaque from the gingival sulcus, that is, the space between the gum and the tooth. This is done to prevent bacteria from forming in dental plaque.

If performed correctly and constantly or daily, this technique prevents periodontal diseases. This technique was created in 1950 by Dr. Charles Cassidy Bass.

Step by step: tooth brushing according to the Bass technique

It is important to master good brushing techniques to eliminate plaque and avoid other diseases such as periodontitis or gingivitis. If you have any type of root canal or dental prosthesis, you must review all brushing techniques with your dentist beforehand to know which one is best for you and thus achieve better dental hygiene.

It is important to have a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid hurting the gums and avoiding tooth sensitivity. Some brushes include a cleaning tool in the head for tongue cleaning, you can choose a manual one or, if you prefer, an electric brush like the one we offer you at Moons.

In this section, we explain step by step how to brush your teeth according to the Bass technique:

*With your mouth slightly open, place the brush horizontally between your gum line and teeth at a 45-degree angle.

*Without applying pressure, lightly insert the bristles of the brush between the gums and teeth and use vibrating movements to obtain a better brushing technique.

*Make rotational movements and complete the procedure on all the external and internal surfaces of the teeth, approximately 15 seconds for every two teeth.

Modified bass technique

This technique is considered to be an improvement on the Bass technique. To the previous step-by-step, it is advisable to add sweeping movement after the vibrating movements.

Without changing the position of the brush, you can do a downward sweep when you are cleaning the upper teeth and an upward sweep if you are cleaning the lower teeth. Avoid making horizontal movements when brushing, the circular technique is crucial to achieve a better finish.

Finally, it is necessary to clean the chewing areas of the molars with circular movements and the tongue with back-to-front movements.

Charter brushing technique

Finally, there is a last brushing technique, but it is not as well known. In fact, of all of them, it is the least recommended by different experts. It’s called the Charters vibration technique. Its use is suggested for those adults who have some type of periodontal disease, to eliminate interproximal plaque.

To perform this technique, the brush is placed at a 45-degree angle and lightly pressed so that the filaments penetrate the interdental space. This causes the vibrating movements to massage the gums.

Electric and manual teeth brushing techniques

Oral prevention is the key to any pathology. For this reason, doing a good tooth and interdental brushing will help prevent many oral diseases.

Dental plaque is a thin insoluble film that contains anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, with a sticky texture that adheres perfectly to the surface of the teeth. The microorganisms that make it up find an ideal habitat and take into account the substrates they need for their survival. When adhered, they can cause pathologies such as cavities or gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), which in more severe cases will become another pathology, the so-called periodontitis that will cause tooth mobility.

That is why dental and oral hygiene is so important since if we carry it out properly and rigorously, these pathologies will not appear.

Oral hygiene includes good tooth and interdental brushing. That is, use the toothbrush and floss or interproximal brushes. In this way, a thorough cleaning of the entire mouth is carried out.

Oral hygiene is defined as those processes that we use to keep our teeth clean, but also the gums and other anatomies that make up the mouth. The frequency with which it is carried out is important but also the technique used. It is used to clean our teeth, which will help us maintain the functions of our mouth. Many systemic pathologies manifest themselves through our mouth, proper oral hygiene is vitally important.

In general rules, there are a series of general guidelines:

*Brush your teeth three times a day.

*Selection of a suitable brush.

*The use of dental floss is essential to access those places where the brush cannot reach.

*Use fluoride pastes to maintain the health of our enamel and avoid cavities

*Brushing time should be at least 3 minutes.

So the most important thing about brushing your teeth is not the toothpaste, but the brush: performing a good mechanical brushing technique. On the market, when it comes to choosing the best option for brushing your teeth, there is a wide range of toothbrushes. All of them can be classified into two main groups: manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes.

Tips for teeth brushing techniques

The first step to achieving good oral health is having a good tooth-brushing technique. Regardless of the options you choose, you must master good technique. But without a doubt, there are other elements outside of tooth brushing that must be taken into account to have good oral health.

*Use dental floss and mouthwashes. Consult your dentist to tell you which is the most appropriate mouthwash and what type of dental floss you should use according to your particular case.

*Change your toothbrush every 2 or 3 months. You must change your brush every so often, because as time goes by they wear out and the strands lose the effectiveness and softness necessary to avoid hurting your teeth.

*Perform a professional dental cleaning periodically. Cleaning helps, among other things, to have better dental hygiene. So do not hesitate to visit your trusted dentist.

*Go to your preferred dental clinic and have an annual checkup for better dental health and to be able to detect any anomaly in time. If you suspect any dental disease, consult an expert in the area. On the other hand, if you have small children, it is important that you also give them a check-up. Pediatric dentistry will be your best ally in the first years of life.

*Avoid opening things with your teeth. Don’t fall into that temptation, teeth are not designed to open objects. With this bad habit, you can damage your gums and break your teeth. Take care of them as much as you can so that you can have healthy teeth for the rest of your life.

*Maintain a good diet. If you limit the consumption of sweets and other foods that are harmful to your teeth, and your health in general, you will be able to enjoy healthy teeth for longer. Furthermore, if you eat healthy, you reduce the risk of suffering from any disease.

Now that you know all about the Bass technique and other brushing styles, you can improve your oral health.

These key tips will help you have healthy and strong teeth, and you can show off an impressive smile, of course, free of any disease.

Summary of the teeth brushing techniques

There are many techniques, but it should be noted that more than the technique, what is important is the thoroughness, the care with which brushing is carried out, thus achieving the same result with any of the techniques.

Although it is clear that there are cases in which, due to certain pathologies or factors such as lack of cooperation or lack of manual dexterity, a certain technique is recommended. It is important in all techniques to follow an order that should always be the same so as not to forget any tooth surface. To teach people to brush you have to teach them a routine: first brush the upper right half on the outside, followed by the upper left half also on the external part, lower left half, and lower right half also on the external part. We will follow the same order again but now on the internal part. Next, the chewing or occlusal surfaces of the teeth, and finally we will brush the tongue. In total, the correct brushing technique should last between 2-3 minutes.

It is worth highlighting the different existing techniques, although not all of them are used:

Scrubbing or horizontal technique. It is a simple technique and the most recommended for children. It simply consists of “scrubbing” the teeth with horizontal movements.

Circular or Fones technique. It is the recommended technique in younger children, given their lower dexterity when brushing their teeth. It consists of wide circular movements with the child’s mouth closed, ranging from the edge of the gum of the upper tooth to the lower one. With it, plaque is removed and at the same time, the gums are massaged.

Vertical technique. With the teeth in contact, they brush from top to bottom and from bottom to top.

Red to white technique. It is brushed from the gums to the tooth. The tufts are placed on the gum and we move from top to bottom on the upper arch and from bottom to top on the lower arch.

Bass technique. It is the most effective. We place the brush with an inclination of 45º. It involves performing anteroposterior vibrating movements, but without moving the brush from its support point. They must be very short movements so that the bristles flex on their axes but that the tips do not move from the support points. This way we manage to break up the bacterial plaque, which rises through the tuft, which is why we have to wash the brush well each time because the tufts become loaded with bacterial plaque. It is a highly recommended technique in adults. They should be brushed in two or three pieces, following the sequence that we have explained before. On the chewing side of the teeth, make quick scrubbing movements to remove all food debris.

Read more: How to choose the best baby toothpaste

Recommended product

1) Oral-B iO Series 5 Electric Toothbrush

2) Arm & Hammer Pro+ Deep Clean Value Pack, Battery Toothbrush for Adults

3) Colgate 360 Floss Tip Battery Powered Toothbrush

4) TAO Clean UV Sanitizing Sonic Toothbrush and Cleaning

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