300 Wellington Street East, Aurora, ON L4G 1J5 I (905) 727-7043

Brushing Saves: Proper Brushing Technique

October 04, 2014

With seven billion people on the planet opinions on the best way to brush one’s teeth are bound to differ. Some of us are convinced that we need to scrub with hard-bristled brushes to get teeth clean. Others believe that brushing in the morning is all that’s needed.

I regularly get questions around oral care in four main areas:

What type of toothbrush/toothpaste to use?
  • Are electric toothbrushes any good?
  • What type of flosses to use?
  • How else can we clean our teeth?

The Toothbrush

A soft-bristled toothbrush is the best choice for the health of your teeth. Damage caused by brushing is a common source of problems, particularly with hard bristle brushes that can cause gum recession and/or wear on the necks of the teeth.

Corrective measures are available, though prevention is the best route. I recommend using an electric toothbrush. They’re more expensive than regular toothbrushes, but they employ the correct motion for cleaning your teeth without traumatizing you gums or tooth structure.

If you continue with a manual brush it’s important to use proper technique. Below is a video demonstrating the “away from the gums” brushing technique.

At a Floss For Words

Dental floss comes in many guises, none necessarily better than the other. Waxed floss is easier to use, especially if you’ve had extensive dental work. If your dental work prevents you from using traditional flossing techniques you can use threaded floss, which is great for getting around bridges and implants.

Flossing is essential to healthy gums. Your best bet is to choose the type that’s best for you and use it every day. When you run out, go buy some more. Trust me, next to regular brushing, flossing is the best thing you can do for your mouth.

Recommended: WaterPik

You can also use a WaterPik water flosser. I heartily recommend this product to the extent that in certain patient cases I require its use. Much like flossing, a Waterpik is a complement to brushing. Those of you with braces or implants will find a Waterpik unit very useful for reaching areas of the mouth that traditional floss can’t access.


To be clear, I don’t recommend using mouthwash as a regular way to clean your mouth. Brushing and flossing should be your primary regimen, with mouthwash used occasionally as a freshener. If you insist on mouthwash, I recommend non-alcohol based options or a lukewarm salt water rinse.

Companies traditionally market mouthwash as a way to battle bad breath. Did you know that persistent bad breath is often related to your gums or stomach? If you suffer from bad breath, speak to your dentist or physician.

As always, I’d love to answer any questions on this post. Feel free to email me or leave a comment below.


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Aurora, ON L4G 1J5


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