These are a few tricks and tips to improve the way you clean your teeth. The more you know and practice, the better you'll get at it!!!
Although this may sound counterproductive, when you open wide, you will contract the muscle in your cheek that sits along your back teeth. If you close down slightly and relax that muscle, you can actually allow the toothbrush to reach those back teeth without it slamming into that muscle.
Sometimes people have a habit they are not even aware of, which is curling their bottom lip. If your hygienist has ever said, “Relax your bottom lip” as they try to scale your bottom front teeth, you could be a lip curler. This can be for many reasons, but often it is because the gum tissues on the bottom front teeth are sensitive or sore due to recession or gingivitis. Biting your teeth together as you clean the front teeth may help you to reach the gum line to gently clean that area. Not to mention, this is where most people build calculus that the hygienist has to remove. Spending more time focusing on this area will help you get less scaling during your hygiene appointment.
The position of our teeth, the diseases that have afflicted them and the restorative work that has been done means you may need a very different brushing technique than what you were taught when your teeth first erupted. The goal is to feel the brush bristles touch all parts of the teeth and along the gum line. Aim to angle your toothbrush at about 45 degrees so the bristles sweep along the gum line and then slowly move it around your mouth.
Depending on your dominant hand you are probably going to start your brushing on the opposite side of your mouth. For instance, right-handed people will start brushing on the left side of their mouth on the cheek side. When you are at your next dental appointment, ask them where you are missing the most when you are brushing and start your brushing there. We tend to be very aware of our brushing technique in the beginning and then go on autopilot as we continue to brush. So, why not start where we are missing the most and then leave the easier-to-reach areas to last, when we have most likely switched to autopilot brushing?
For this reason, most electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer. If you do not have an electric toothbrush, try counting how long you stay on each tooth. For instance, if you are going to start your brushing on the upper left side of your mouth on the very back teeth, make sure to stay there for a few seconds. Place the brush in your mouth, angle the bristles toward the gum line and brush back and forth while you count 1, 2, 3, and then move the brush to the next tooth. Although you will want to brush faster, this is a very simple way to slow yourself down. Be sure to not jump from the top teeth to the bottom teeth or to the right and then to the left. To ensure all teeth are correctly brushed, stay in that area and slow down.