• Tooth Brushing- The Right Way Is The Only Way

    Tooth brushing is probably one of the first things a child learns after learning how to walk and how to speak. And this is one thing in which parents or guardians are actively involved. So, we all do this dutifully and religiously after waking up in the morning, taking brush and scrubbing it all over our teeth followed by rinses.

  • Current Scenario
    Now lets talk about the flip side of the coin. More than ever, the number of teenagers coming to our practice with frequent plaque deposits and cavity lesions in their teeth is rapidly increasing. Same holds good for the rest of the population too with the gum disease becoming No.1 cause of tooth loss in our population.  The patient exclaims we are brushing we are doing it regularly then why is it happening. And there are a number of questions in their mind-- Is there any fault with our way of brushing ? Is there any specific technique of doing it? Further for how long should one brush his/ her teeth.

 To answer this- YES. Sadly, majority of the population is doing it wrong way the effect of which is multifold.

  1. Improper cleaning despite doing it regularly.
  2. Gum damage and recession due to faulty toothbrushing.
  3. Food impaction as result of wrong brushing motion.
  4. Frequent cavities due to food lodgement.
  5. Damage to the tooth structure due to excessive pressure with brushing.


1. So what is the right way of doing it? 

To start with, the tooth brush should be held in a thumb grasp. The motion should be from upward to downward for the upper front as well as the back teeth with the bristles running from the tooth surface near the gums towards the other side (downward). The motion for the lower ones is exactly opposite that is downward to upward.


This method also called Modified Stillman’s in the literature is widely recommended for the healthy and accurate brushing of the dentition. Brushing this way helps in collecting the dirt removing it away from your teeth.

2. Now moving on to the next aspect of the brushing, the right choice of brush is of utmost importance. 


For that, consider your skin being abraded by a hard brush for cleaning when you can easily achieve the same with your hands or a very soft body scrubber. The same holds good for our teeth too. Teeth don’t have to be scrubbed too hard and with a hard tooth brush for cleaning. A moderate to soft bristle brush and a normal tooth paste is all we need for cleaning them up. 

3. The third concern is how many times should one brush and for how long. The standard and widely practiced and recommended protocol over the world is 2 minutes brushing for 2 minutes daily.

 This is good works in long run and keeps your teeth clean for most part of the day.

However some modifications can be done according to your lifestyle and work schedule. For instance, we noticed a certain population of the young workers involved in night shift works affected with bad smell and moderate to severe wide spread cavities. For them, we suggested a modified approach which had very promising effects. Instead of brushing before morning meals or the meals which they have after the shift is over, we suggested them to brush after the meals before sleeping and the second brushing is again after the meals they take in evening or before going to job, the idea is to keep the oral cavity food free and germ free for a maximum period of time. This is supplemented with  oral rinse with water after any meals they have. The results have been promising and it is something any person can easily do and follow.

This is a one of the small effort to share my clinical experiences so that these small everyday changes can contribute to your oral and general health and improve it because as they say oral cavity is the mirror of your body. So keep them clean and keep smiling and sharing your joyous smiles.

In the next article I will sharing my views on the different cleaning methods which can be opted for a disease free oral cavity and hence healthy you.