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How To Properly Brush Your Teeth?

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Author: Hai Le

Updated on March 19, 2024 • Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Have you ever wondered if you're brushing your teeth correctly or not? This is something you should consider because the way you brush your teeth is very important, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all!

Fun Fact: Most people fall short of the recommended 2-minute brushing time. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average person only brushes 45 to 70 seconds a day. (Not one brushing session, but a whole day!)

Brushing your teeth can help remove plaques, preventing bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. But those benefits only come if you know how to brush your teeth properly.

While this article won't cover every aspect of proper dental hygiene, it'll focus on the important aspects you need to know, including why you should brush your teeth properly, the necessary tools to brush your teeth, and the 10 step-by-step guides to effectively remove germs and plaque that accumulate throughout your day.

Why Should You Brush Your Teeth Properly?

We all know brushing our teeth daily is good for us, but have you ever stopped to wonder why dentists always make such a fuss about the importance of doing it properly?

Fun Fact: According to Highland Dental Group, 25% of adults fail to brush their teeth twice a day. This increases their risk of developing tooth decay by 33%.

Brushing your teeth daily and correctly is an important part of maintaining good oral health. Here are several benefits:

  • Prevent Tooth Decay
  • Maintain Healthy Gum
  • Freshen Breath
  • Brighten Teeth
  • Stronger Teeth, Prevent Tooth Loss
  • Improves Overall Health

If you don't take care of your teeth, cavities and unhealthy gums can make your mouth sore, making eating much more difficult. Maintaining healthy and strong teeth, on the other hand, improves your chewing ability, speaks more clearly, and gives you a brighter smile to help you look younger.

Tip: The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time to keep your teeth healthy.

Brushing your teeth removes plaque, a sticky film harboring bacteria that can eat away your tooth enamel and cause many unnecessary oral problems like gum disease and bad breath. Some studies even suggest poor oral health may be linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Summary: When you brush your teeth properly, you can prevent plaque from buildup and remove bacteria between your teeth. By doing this, you not only prevent tooth decay, bad breath, tooth loss, and gum disease, but also promote a stronger immune system for your overall health.

Set for oral hygiene tools laying on blue background

So, What Tools Do You Need To Brush Your Teeth?

The first step to brushing your teeth correctly is to make sure you're prepared with the right tools.

You must have:

  • A toothbrush
  • Fluoride Toothpaste


  • Floss
  • Mouthwash

The Right Toothbrush: In order to maximize the effectiveness of your brushing routine, consider choosing the right toothbrush for you. A toothbrush that has a soft bristle and is comfortable to hold with a size and shape that fits perfectly in your mouth is recommended by many dentists.

Fluoride Toothpaste: When selecting your toothpaste, most dentists suggest choosing one that contains fluoride to help strengthen enamel and fight decay. Also, don't forget about flavor, pick something you like to make brushing more enjoyable!

Flossing: Consider flossing once a day to help remove plaque and food particles stuck between your teeth and along the gum line, where a toothbrush usually cannot reach.

Mouthwash: Dentists recommend using mouthwash as an additional way to reduce bacteria in your mouth while freshening your breath. Again, special flavors and formulas are also available for you to choose to make your dental routine more enjoyable.

Summary: To brush your teeth effectively, you'll need to prepare a toothbrush with soft bristles that fit your mouth and fluoride toothpaste that has an enjoyable flavor. Flossing and using mouthwash are optional and cannot be substituted for brushing your teeth, but they can complement the practices.

Men brushing his teeth with a bamboo toothbrush in a pink background

How To Properly Brush Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important habits you can develop to maintain good oral health. Start To Finish: Here is the step-by-step guide on how to brush your teeth properly - From The American Dental Association (ADA)

1. Grab Your Toothbrush: Brushing your teeth shouldn't be painful or uncomfortable. Get yourself a soft-bristle toothbrush that fits comfortably in your hand and can easily reach all areas of your mouth.

2. Wet The Bristles: Before diving in, run your toothbrush underwater for a few seconds to wet the bristles. This quick rinse can help remove any dust or debris that might have settled on the bristles since your last brushing.

3. Apply Toothpaste: Using more toothpaste than recommended can lead to excessive foaming, making it difficult to rinse thoroughly. So just squeeze a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto the bristles. (That is the sweet spot for effective and comfortable brushing!)

4. Angle The Brush: Place your toothbrush against the gum line at a 45-degree angle. This allows the bristles to effectively clean both the surface of your teeth and reach just below the gum line. Dentists (The American Dental Association) recommend brushing at this angle because it removes more plaque and helps keep your gums healthy!

5. Brush Circular Motion: Instead of harsh back-and-forth scrubbing, dentists recommend using gentle, small circular motions. This brushing technique is gentler and allows the bristles to reach and remove plaque from all surfaces of each tooth.

6. Clean All Surfaces: Gently repeat brushing the front, back, and top of every tooth.

7. This Process Takes Between 2 To 3 Minutes: Most adults do not come close to brushing their teeth long enough, so take at least two minutes (120 seconds) to properly brush your teeth.

8. Don't Forget To Clean Your Tongue (It's What Causes Bad Breath): A few gentle swipes to your tongue remove bacteria that contribute to bad breath. It's a simple step that adds a whole new level of freshness and flavor to your oral hygiene routine!

8.5. Don't Use Tongue Scraper: Although there’s no harm in adding tongue scraper to your routine, it isn’t necessary for good dental hygiene. Using your toothbrush is way more convenient since we all have one, and most studies show that toothbrushes possess roughly the same level of overall effectiveness as tongue scrapers.

9. Spit Out The Toothpaste After Finish Brushing: Once you've finished removing plaque and bacteria in your mouth and freshening your breath, spit out the toothpaste and rinse your mouth with water.

10. Finish Up By Rinsing Your Toothbrush With Water: Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with water then store it upright to air dry. Don't forget to repeat the same process once more time at night for a healthier mouth.

Tip: To maximize the effectiveness of each and every brushing section, the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If your toothbrush has been overused, the bristles can become frayed, which causes your brushing routine to lose some of its effectiveness.

Summary: The simplest way to brush your teeth is to go ahead and grab your toothbrush. Lubricate it with water, then put a small amount of toothpaste on the bristles. Place the toothbrush against your teeth at a 45-degree angle, then brush using a small circular motion. Gently brush the front, back, and top of every tooth for at least 2 minutes, then take a couple of seconds to brush your tongue to get rid of bacteria that contribute to bad breath. The final step is to spit out all the toothpaste after you're done, then finish by rinsing your mouth and toothbrush with water.

Quick Takeaways

From start to finish, here is the step-by-step guide on how to brush your teeth properly:

  1. Grab your toothbrush.
  2. Run your toothbrush under water for a few seconds to wet the bristles.
  3. Apply a small amount of toothpaste on the bristle of your toothbrush.
  4. Place your toothbrush against the gum line at a 45-degree angle.
  5. Start brushing using small circular motions.
  6. Gently repeat brushing the front, back, and top of every tooth.
  7. This process takes between 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Don't forget to brush your tongue (It's what causes bad breath).
  9. Spit out the toothpaste after finish brushing.
  10. Finish up by rinsing your mouth and toothbrush with water.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that you are brushing your teeth properly and maintaining good oral health.

Notice: It is important for individuals with braces or other dental appliances to consult with their dentist about proper brushing techniques before beginning any routine.

Frequently Asked Questions Relate To This Blog:

Question #1: What is the best way to brush my teeth?

Answer: The American Dental Association recommends tilting your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and brush in small, circular motions. This technique will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth more effectively.

Question #2: How often should I brush my teeth?

Answer: The American Dental Association recommends you to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. You can also brush your teeth after eating sugary foods or drinks, but this is not a substitute for brushing twice a day.

Question #3: How long should I brush my teeth?

Answer: The American Dental Association recommends you to brush your teeth for at least two minutes per brushing session. If you brush for less than two minutes, you may not be removing all of the plaque and bacteria stuck on your teeth.


This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your dentist to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

Again, the content on is for informational purposes only. Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Ecopify is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.

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